Kuwait executions could impact visa-free EU travel: official

Kuwait executions could impact visa-free EU travel: official
2 min read
16 November, 2022
The EU has warned Kuwait's bid to get visa-free travel to the bloc was at risk because of its execution of seven people on Wednesday
Schinas noted that the European Parliament was to vote Thursday on a European Commission proposal to put Kuwait on the EU's visa-free list [Getty/archive]

The EU on Wednesday summoned Kuwait's ambassador and warned the Gulf country's bid to get visa-free travel to the bloc was at risk because of its execution of seven people.

EU commissioner Margaritis Schinas said "consequences" will be drawn from the executions, which he alleged took place despite him receiving "assurances to the contrary" from Kuwaiti officials.

Schinas, who is tasked with "promoting our European way of life," was in Kuwait to discuss that issue and others when the executions were carried out.

"We will draw the consequences that this will have on the discussions... to put Kuwait on the visa free list," Schinas said in a statement.

He said the EU's foreign service arm had summoned Kuwait's ambassador to the EU in Brussels over the development.

Schinas noted that the European Parliament was to vote Thursday on a European Commission proposal to put Kuwait on the EU's visa-free list.

If adopted the measure, long sought by the Gulf country, would allow Kuwaiti citizens to enter the European Union for short stays of up to three months without the need for a Schengen visa which is currently required.

Schinas also said the executions would colour a previously arranged "human rights dialogue" between the EU and Kuwait next week.

Schinas and the EU's European External Action Service both strongly condemned the executions, which were Kuwait's first since 2017 and imposed for murder convictions.

One Ethiopian woman and one Kuwaiti woman were among those hanged, along with three Kuwaiti men, a Syrian and a Pakistani.

"Human rights issues are at the core of (the) EU's internal and external relations, directly affecting all our policies," a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.