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On 1-3 March Mission of the European Commission for exploratory discussions on talks on the liberalization of the visa regime is visiting Chisinau

During the meeting with members of the special Mission of the European Commission, the Prime-Minister of Moldova, Vladimir Filat, welcomed the mission's members to Moldova, emphasizing the visit's importance.

"This meeting marks the beginning of the path to the liberalization of the visa regime for the Moldovan citizens, which we will cover quickly and efficiently," the prime minister said.

Vladimir Filat said that he understands that deep reforms are necessary for Moldovans to benefit from the right to freely travel to Europe. He specified that the present government assumed these reforms.

"The liberalization of the visa regime is a priority for Moldova. I want very much that Moldova's citizens travel to Europe on the basis of Moldovan passports in the near future," the prime minister said.

Moldovan Prime-minister said that authorities should assume a string of responsibilities and actions in order to obtain a liberalized visa regime.

"We want to be partners to the European Commission and the conditions that Moldova should implement in order to benefit from the liberalized visa regime will lay at the basis of this partnership," the prime minister said.

Vladimir Filat specified that Moldova needs a roadmap and relies on European experts' assistance to correctly implement the steps towards the liberalization of the visa regime.

"We want a European future for Moldova. For 20 years, the Moldovan citizens seem to have been staying in a railway station and looking at trains running in different directions. We think that time is ripe for our citizens to get on the train heading towards Europe," the prime minister said.

Moldovan official added that the liberalization of the visa regime for Moldovan citizens would help settle the Transnistrian conflict.

"To settle this conflict, Chisinau needs to become attractive for the left bank of the Dniestre. The settlement of the conflict will turn Moldova into a provider of stability," the prime minister also said.

Vladimir Filat gave assurances that the Moldovan authorities will do their utmost to carry out all the measures necessary to benefit from the liberalized visa regime.

The head of the Unit of International Aspects of Migration and Visa Policies of the Directorate-General of Justice, Freedom and Security, Joannes De Ceuster, said that the meetings he has had with representatives of different central authorities so far proves that Moldova made its homework.

"The Moldovan government's commitment to the process of getting the liberalized visa regime is very clear and we will do our best so that the dialogue on negotiations on this regime starts on 15 June 2010," Joannes De Ceuster said.

The sides also discussed measures which the local authorities are to undertake to provide biometric passports and ensure the protection of personal data.

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