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Interview: “Cameroonians Will Travel Easily To Italy”

Lejeune Mbella Mbella, Minister of External Relations, talks on possible visa exemptions.

Mr. Minister, What is the importance of this agreement between Cameroon-Italy on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic or service passport?

The importance is that from now on, when the bill will be ratified by the Head of State, Cameroonians will go very easily to Italy based on the fact that we have signed this agreement.

Why is the agreement limited only to holders of diplomatic and service passports?

These are the rules in all the countries. You cannot give free visa to all citizens firstly because of security reasons. The embassies have to make sure that those who are travelling to their country are people who cannot cause any problem. Secondly, because it is a matter of courtesy in all the countries in the international community, people who are entitled to have diplomatic passports or service passports are treated with due respect.

Are there no possible disadvantages to free visa requirement?

No. Except if the person is what we call undesirable. He may be refused the visa but apart from that if you have not been noted as being a nuisance to any country, the visa can be given very easily and free.

How will this visa free agreement enhance commercial ties between Cameroon and Italy when it is limited to a particular class of citizens?

You should know that the service passport has been extended to various categories of citizens in our country. Many people do not know that even those who are business people according to the laws and regulations are entitled to service passports. So, it’s a great number of persons who will be travelling either for business, commercial or even for holidays. You can also travel for a visit or for tourism. All these conditions are catered for in the agreement.


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