DAMASCUS: The Syrian authorities have prepared a draft law under which previously exempt Arab nationals will now need a visa to visit the country, a pro-regime newspaper reported yesterday.
Parliament will discuss “a draft law that regulate the entry and residence of Arabs and foreigners”, Al Watan said.
If approved, the law would require “any person entering or leaving Syria to hold a valid passport” which “would need to be stamped with a visa from one of our diplomatic missions or consulates abroad”.
Citizens of from countries neighbouring Syria that have “special, bilateral or international agreements to which Syria is a party” are exempt, Al Watan said.
Arabs and other foreigners visiting Syria will have to explain the reason for their visit and state their place of residence in the strife-torn country, in addition to proving their solvency, it said.
Those convicted of violating the law would face six months to two years in jail and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 Syrian pounds ($350 to $700). AFPp