France suspends Schengen agreement following Paris terror attacks
The French Embassy, Washington DC: a woman leaves flowers at a makeshift tribute to the victims of the November 13 Paris terror attacks. (AFP/Getty/TJ Kirkpatrick)
The French embassy in the UAE will continue issuing Schengen visas as usual.
However, Friday’s attacks have prompted tighter security measures at all entry points in France, and procedures for entering the country will differ from before, officials from the French embassy said.
“The procedures for applying for a Schengen visa at the French embassy will be as usual,” the official told Gulf News, “as far as issuing visas goes, we haven’t changed anything. Those wishing to visit France can apply for a Schengen visa at the French embassy.”
While previously those with a Schengen visa were free to travel anywhere within the Schengen area, the embassy official said that travellers will be stopped when entering the French border. The move comes as a precaution after a string of coordinated attacks in Paris on Friday which left more than 120 people dead. Some 300 were hospitalised, 80 of whom are in critical condition, while scores of people are still unaccounted for.
“Previously, the borders were open and Schengen visa holders could travel freely within the Schengen area. This is no longer the case,” the official said. “Border control has been put in place and security at the border will be more attentive and thorough, as you can imagine.“
According to agencies, France has suspended the Schengen agreement and imposed border controls. The move by the French Government is temporary and the country will suspend its participation in the Schengen Agreement for a month starting November 13. This precaution was taken to decrease the likelihood of another terror attack like the one which occurred on Friday night.
By Razmig Bedirian
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