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Additional passport renewal expenses would burdent Lebanese citizens, says Nabil Nicolas

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info / NNA - January 09, 2016, 06h54

Change and Reform Parliamentary bloc MP, Nabil Nicholas, stated on Friday that he wondered how the Lebanese state would burden the Lebanese citizen with additional expenses to renew their already valid passports to fit the new required criteria.

"Some people have just recently renewed their passports and have paid all the required fees without receiving any sort of warning that their passports would be soon deemed obsolete, and that they will have to pay new fees to issue new passports," the lawmaker said.

He called on the Lebanese state to refrain from burdening the Lebanese with new expenses "that are the mere result of those who have originally neglected their duties."

Colonel Ali Turmos, the chief of Passports Department at the Directorate General of General Security, explained on Friday that "the current Lebanese passport is officially read by machines in international airports across the world." Speaking at a press conference at the Directorate in Adliyeh, he said: "Yet, there are certain problems in the renewed passports which bear handwritten renewals on the fourth page and those carrying the term 'accompanied persons' on the 47th page. These problems are causing disputes in airports."

Turmos added, "We were reported to stop passports bearing the terms 'accompanied persons' or 'renewing.' And when we were asked in late 2012 by the international civil aviation whether we were ready to not have passports bearing the two mentioned terms, we answered that we were ready for that. In fact, we started in 2013 taking the necessary measures upon that basis, but the problem remained with those who had renewed their passports for a five year period. However, the General Security started as of yesterday to make modifications to the remaining passports in a way to completely abide by the rules of the international civil aviation system."

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