UAE 'suspends issuing visas' for 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries
The United Arab Emirates has temporarily stopped issuing visas for citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, according to a document seen by Reuters.
The document, which was sent to businesses by a state-owned business park, cited an immigration circular that came into effect on 18 November.
The letter said that the UAE had stopped issuing employment and visit visas for citizens of Iran, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkey, according to Reuters.
A source cited by Reuters confirmed the temporary ban, saying that it had been introduced over security concerns.
The UAE has not issued a public statement on the move, however, Pakistan last week said that the Gulf state had stopped issuing new visas for its citizens.
The move comes as the UAE prepares to welcome tourists from Israel, following the two states' formalising of diplomatic ties in September.
On Monday, Israeli ministers voted unanimously in favour of the agreement, local media reports said.
The visa exemption deal, signed in Tel Aviv last month, will reportedly go into effect in 30 days.
The UAE government had reportedly ratified the agreement earlier this month.