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Canceling visa regime with Israel delays

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Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu expresses clear support for canceling visa requirement for tourists from Ukraine, as it will create thousands of jobs, but postpones making decision by one week. He decided to postpone by one week coming to a decision on granting a visa exemption to Ukrainian tourists visiting Israel.
The delay comes on the backdrop of two opposing bills on the issue presented to the cabinet, one by Yisrael Beiteinu in favor of the move, and one by Shas opposed to the move. Netanyahu commissioned Cabinet Secretary Lee Hauser to reconcile the two sides.
 
Earlier Sunday the prime minister addressed the debate surrounding Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov's bill to cancel the visa requirement and expressed his sweeping support for the move. Outgoing Attorney General Menachem Mazuz supported Interior Minister Eli Yishai's stance against the move. Mazuz explained, "Ukraine is a source of prostitution and human trafficking."
 
Prime Minister B. Netanyahu did not heed the attorney general's advice. "We will exempt Ukrainian citizens from the visa requirements. We made a similar move with Russia, and tourism quadrupled. As a result, thousands of jobs were created," Netanyahu explained.
 
Prominent among those opposed Minister Eli Yishai said during the meeting, "Ukraine is one of five states that give scathing international criticism (of Israel)." He explained, "I support giving a visa exemption to citizens from the US and France, but I have a problem with a similar, ungraduated move for the citizens of Ukraine."
 
Misezhnikov also addressed Mazuz's opposition, saying it is disproportionate. "It is fitting to grant visas to the citizens of Ukraine, which supports Israel in every international forum. This decision will increase tourism and jobs. It has already been proven in the past that claims like those being made by the Interior Ministry are groundless; see the case of allowing visas to Russian citizens."
Written by: Publisher Monday, 01 February 2010 13:44