KUWAIT CITY, May 2: Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passport Affairs in the Interior Ministry Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah has unveiled a plan to allow citizens and expatriates residing in GCC countries to travel between the GCC member-nations using a smart card.
Al-Jarrah confirmed the project will be presented in the upcoming meeting of GCC Interior Ministers for deliberation.
Meanwhile, during the press conference before the opening of the 31st Conference of General Managers of Passports Departments in the GCC, Al-Jarrah asserted the DNA samples collection project is legal and it has been approved by the Parliament. He affirmed the DNA samples database will be confidential and it will be for the exclusive use of the State.
Asked about the electronic passport, Al-Jarrah said the manufacturing company will soon complete its task and the passports will be delivered in June to be ready for issuance in September. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Al-Jarrah conveyed the greetings of Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohamed Al-Khaled and Undersecretary Lieutenant General Sulaiman Al-Fahad to the participants.
He highlighted the importance of cooperation between the member-States and development of the Citizenship and Passports departments to guarantee security and safety in the region. He stressed, “Globalization, which made the world a small village, will no longer be conducive for us if we continue using the old method of managing the immigration process.
Change is required to allow citizens to move freely in the region. This is an introductory meeting to prepare the agenda for approval during the ministers’ meeting on allowing citizens and expatriates residing in the GCC to move smoothly between the member-countries, in addition to the electronic passports system linking countries in the region.
By Munaif Nayef and Mishal Al-Sanousi Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies