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Poland/Czech Republic: Agreement Reached On New Border Crossings

Warsaw, 22 August 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Poland and the Czech Republic have agreed on the location of what are being called "tourist border crossings" on the common border. The crossings are mainly for pedestrians and bicycle riders.

Final agreement was reached at talks yesterday in Jelenia Gora in the Sudeten Mountains. The crossings are located in the Sudeten and Beskidy Mountains, and our Warsaw correspondent reports they are designed for easy access to tourist attractions on each side of the border.

The commander of Poland's border patrol, Colonel Andrzej Wasiuk, said border patrol officers will conduct only intermittent checks at these crossings.

Because of the fear of illegal emigrants, the Czech Republic had proposed that the crossings be used by only Poles, Czechs and European Union passport holders. But Prague accepted a compromise offered by Poland to also permit Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Slovaks and Hungarians to use the crossing.

Poland and the Czech Republic agreed that citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics, as well as citizens of African countries, will not be permitted to use the new border crossings.