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EU Proposes Easy Visas For Kosovo

Kosovar Albanians walk under the EU and Kosovo flags in the main square of Pristina on May 4.

The European Commission has proposed that EU governments lift visa requirements for travelers from Kosovo.

"Kosovo has made great progress," Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told reporters on May 4, adding that he hoped governments and the European Parliament would approve the proposal quickly.

EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini will meet the leaders of Kosovo and address its parliament on May 5, the commission said in a statement.

Kosovo joins Turkey, Ukraine, and Georgia being added to a list of those whose citizens do not require prior visa approval to travel to Europe.

Under the proposal, Kosovars with biometric passports would be able to enter the Schengen zone without a visa and stay for up to 90 days.

Brussels had been wary about offering Kosovo a visa-free regime after large numbers of Kosovars sought asylum in the bloc in 2014 and 2015.

But Pristina has improved border controls, introduced biometric passports, and agreed to the return of citizens not entitled to asylum in the EU.

Based on reporting by Reuters