16:08. Brussels, Jun. 10.
The Schengen visa waiver is an acknowledgement of Peru by the European Union, said Peruvian President Ollanta Humala during the signing of the agreement intended to waive the visa requirement for Peruvian and Colombian citizens.
“This [visa exemption] brings recognition to the country, which is moving forward thanks to the efforts of the population,” he said.
He continued to explain this is an important moment for Peru, EU and Colombia, which is also participating in the agreement.
“This is good news for Peru, Colombia and the European Union,” the President affirmed after noting that both Peru and Colombia are making progress and that this can be observed in the international community.
The Peruvian Head of State thanked EU officials, who make this process possible, and the Government of Spain, which proposed the initiative. He also hailed the work done by the Peruvian Foreign Affairs Ministry with regard to this agreement.
The visa exemption opens up the possibility that many Peruvians might be able to travel to Europe and visit their relatives living in the Schengen Area more frequently.
He recalled that both Peru and Colombia are important economies that work to reduce poverty and welcome Europeans with hospitality every time they arrive for tourism or work-related purposes.
Furthermore, the Peruvian leader said the European Union is one of the main partners of Peru around the world.
“We share a common history in terms of culture,” he pointed out after noting that today’s signing represents an important step forward and that many other steps need to be taken to materialize the visa-free trips to Europe.
On Wednesday, Mr. Humala attended the signing of the Schengen visa waiver agreement in Brussels, which saw the participation of Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister Ana Maria Sanchez.
The Colombian side was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angel Holguin and the Colombian Head of State Juan Manuel Santos.