WASHINGTON - Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has said with a definitive confirmation that the United States is set to allow Israeli citizens to travel visa-free to the United States.
The comments came despite concerns about Israel’s treatment of Palestinian and Arab-American travelers; however, in a social media post on Monday, Cohen said Israel’s acceptance into the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) was “great news” for the country.
Cohen continued that, “as we promised”, Israel would enter the program in November.
On the other hand, the Biden administration has not formally announced anything regarding Israel joining the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller as well as a spokesperson for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said a decision in this regard would be made soon.
The news regarding Israel’s entry into the program has invited criticism and Arab-American civil rights advocates are taking aim at the United States for liberty, if granted.
Countries in the VWP must allow visa-free travel for American citizens in reciprocity for a similar easing of visa requirements for their own nationals traveling to the US.
At present, scores of US and other foreign nationals of Palestinian and Arab descent are routinely denied entry by Israeli authorities as they control all access to the occupied Palestinian territories.
In 2019, a controversy spiked when Israel barred US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting the country and the occupied Palestinian territories, citing “their boycott activities against Israel”.
Although US officials have pledged that in order to be accepted into the VWP, Israel would have to treat Americans equally, rights advocates are skeptical about whether Israel would live up to its promises.
In July, US and Israeli officials signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at facilitating Israel’s entry into the program but the contents of the document allow Israel to deny entry to Americans citing “legitimate security concerns”, a provision which can be exploited anytime.
Moreover, it is still not clear whether US citizens in Gaza would be able to leave the besieged territory under the new regulations or otherwise.
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Sunday.
On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 283.4 for buying and 285.95 for selling.
Euro comes down to 307 for buying and 310 for selling. British Pound rate remains unchanged at 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||358.5||362|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.37||36.72|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||175.33||177.33|
Gold prices decreased in local markets in line with the trend in the international market.
On Sunday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs216,300, and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs185,450.
Single tola of 22 Karat Gold price costs Rs198,274, 21 karat rate per tola costs Rs189,263 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,225 for each tola.
In the global market, gold prices hovers around $2,004 per ounce, after drop of $23.35 on Sunday.
|Lahore||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Karachi||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Islamabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Peshawar||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Quetta||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Sialkot||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Attock||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Gujranwala||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Jehlum||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Multan||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Gujrat||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Nawabshah||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Chakwal||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Hyderabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Nowshehra||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Sargodha||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Faisalabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Mirpur||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|