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UN committee passes resolution calling on US to promptly issue visas to foreign diplomats

The General Assembly expects that the host country will promptly issue entry visas to all representatives of UN member states

UNITED NATIONS, November 20. /TASS/. The United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee has passed a resolution calling on the US to promptly issue visas to foreign diplomats, including Russians, a TASS correspondent reported.

The resolution expressed "serious concern regarding the non-issuance of entry visas to certain representatives of certain Member States."

According to the resolution, the UN General Assembly "expects he prompt issuance by the host country of entry visas to all representatives of Member States and members of the Secretariat… and, in a timely manner, to enable persons assigned as members of permanent missions or recruited to serve in the Secretariat to take up their assignments as promptly as possible and to enable representatives of Member States to travel to New York on United Nations business, and notes that the Committee anticipates that the host country will continue to enhance efforts, including visa issuance, to facilitate the participation of representatives of Member States in other United Nations meetings, as appropriate."

The document was sponsored by Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Costa Rica and Ivory Coast. The UN General Assembly is expected to consider it in December.

Since the beginning of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the United States has failed to issue entry visas to 18 Russian delegates, including those who were supposed to participate in the UNGA High-Level Week.

According to Spokesperson for the Russian UN Mission Maria Zabolotskaya, the passing of the resolution is just the first step. She added that Moscow expected the UN secretary general to actively facilitate its implementation.

Movement restrictions

According to the resolution, the committee "urges the host country to remove all remaining travel restrictions imposed by it on staff of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities."

In this regard, the committee "takes seriously the more stringent travel restrictions imposed on the permanent and visiting representatives of two Missions [Iran and Venezuela - TASS] and the statements of affected delegations that travel restrictions impede their ability to carry out their functions, restrict their access to services and their choice of residence, and negatively impact their families."

Earlier, Venezuela's Ambassador to the United Nations Samuel Moncada told TASS that the movement of the diplomatic mission’s employees was restricted within a perimeter of 25 miles. Therefore, they are not allowed to travel to Washington, for example, the diplomat said.

Restrictions were also imposed on Iranian diplomats, who are in New York on official assignment, and their family members. For example, while visiting New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is allowed to move only between the airport, the hotel and the UN headquarters.

Besides, diplomats from a group of nations that includes Russia are allowed to travel beyond the 25-mile-zone surrounding New York only on the condition that they notify the US authorities in advance.