New digital passport debuts in Uruguay

Montevideo, Oct 17 (IANS) Uruguay has launched a new digital passport, demanded by Washington as a precondition for talks on allowing Uruguayans to enter the US without a visa.

“The second stage of negotiations (with the US) begins and it won’t necessarily be quick,” Interior Minister Eduardo Bonomi said on Friday after the presentation of the new passport, which is equipped with an electronic chip for added security.

Bonomi, the first to receive one of the new passports, pointed out that Uruguay began issuing digital identity cards in May, EFE reported.

The US will continue requiring visas from Uruguayans until the agreement is finalized, Bradley Freden, charge d’affaires at the US Embassy in Montevideo, said.

“The digital passport was a prerequisite to begin negotiations on the visa exemption. I hope that expectations are realistic, as the negotiations will be slow,” Freden said.

Chile is the only Latin American country whose citizens are not required to obtain visas to travel to the US.

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