‘No decision yet’ – US denies Israeli FM’s claim that visa waiver is finalized

State Department says decision regarding visa waiver agreement still hasn’t been made, in contrast to Israeli FM’s celebratory announcement.

By World Israel News Staff

Biden administration officials put a damper on Israeli celebrations regarding a visa waiver agreement between the two countries, saying that officials have yet to make a final decision on the matter.

On Monday, State Department representatives denied that Washington had officially decided to move forward with a program that will see mutual visa-free travel between the U.S. and Israel.

“The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, will make a determination in the coming days” regarding the visa waiver agreement, a State Department spokesperson told Reuters.

That clarification comes in stark contrast to bombastic messages released by Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who announced that the program was finalized and that the Israeli government had secured a “diplomatic achievement.”

Cohen also hailed the alleged decision as “good news” for all Israeli citizens interested in traveling to the U.S.

Should Cohen’s announcement turn out to be premature, this would not be the first time that the Foreign Minister has flubbed a major diplomatic breakthrough by going public too quickly.

On social networking site X in August, Cohen announced that he had met with the Foreign Minister of Libya, Najla El Mangoush, in Italy.

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The news roiled Libya, sparking death threats and an internal security investigation against El Mangoush.

The diplomat was chased out of the country and needed to seek refuge in Turkey out of fear for her life.

It’s likely that any potential diplomatic progression between Israel and Libya was set back by years due to Cohen’s revelation regarding the meeting.

In recent months, the Israeli government has made a number of significant compromises in order to meet American demands for “reciprocity” regarding freedom of travel.

Gazans and residents of PA-controlled enclaves who hold American citizenship are now permitted to fly in and out of Israel via Ben Gurion Airport, as well as travel as tourists within Israel for up to 90 days – in a sharp deviation from previous security policies.