The United Arab Emirates is to stop the issuing of new Visas to 13 Muslim countries, as document released showed the likes of Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan as countries on the list. Others are Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey, till further notice. Some of these countries had kicked against the Emirates establishing ties with a perceived common enemy, Israel.
The move which is said to be a temporary one, is said to have been placed on the 13 Muslim countries, for security concerns.
The stopping of new visas to these 13 Muslim countries, comes two months after it established formal ties with Israel, a move that broke with decades of Arab policy and angered some Muslim states and communities. Others welcomed it.
According to the report by Reuters, a source familiar with the matter said the ban was unrelated to the UAE’s relationship with Israel and was expected to last only for a brief period.
A diplomat commented that the UAE had strained relations with some of the states listed, such as Turkey.
The report by Reuters also stated that last week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the UAE had stopped processing new visas for its citizens and those of some other countries, but that those already holding valid visas were not affected and could still enter the UAE.