OTTAWA - Canada and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to end a squabble over visas that forced Canadians to pay hundreds of dollars to enter the Gulf country.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and his U.A.E. counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan say they have agreed to restore the visa regime that existed prior to a dispute that erupted in 2010.
They say the two countries are also ready to sign a nuclear co-operation deal. Details on the two agreements will be formalized in the next month.
The two countries have also created a Canada-U.A.E. business council to improve commercial relationships.
Baird is on a lengthy swing through the Middle East, which has included a surprise visit to Iraq as well as stops in Jordan and Cyprus.
The agreement with the U.A.E. to revert to the previous visa regime ends a spat which began in 2010 when the Emirates were denied the opportunity to expand air travel to Canada.
Visitors from most European countries, Australia and the U.S. don't need visas for the U.A.E. Canadians, however, must pay $165 for a single-entry, 30-day visa; $330 for a single-entry 60-day visa; and $660 for a six-month, multiple-entry visa.
In a statement on Tuesday, Baird and the U.A.E. foreign minister agreed to restore the status quo on visas and increase co-operation overall.
"As strategic partners, Canada and the U.A.E. can make significant contributions toward the goal of achieving stability and prosperity across the region," the two men said.
They also agreed to strengthen co-operation on police, corrections and border matters, including training opportunities.
The two countries also joined in urging Iran to co-operate with the international community on its nuclear program and called for an effective and responsible international response to the Assad regime and its actions against the Syrian people.
"We find ourselves at a historic crossroads in the region and globally: between an opportunity to promote prosperity, security and development and the threats posed by extremists, conflict and poverty," the joint communique said.
"It is essential for Canada and the U.A.E. that we continue to build our strategic partnership for the future."
Also on HuffPost:
If you've gotten married or changed your name for other reasons and it says so on other official documents, like driver's licenses, it's recommended to order a new passport in your new name -- otherwise you might encounter problems at the border.
If there's an error printed on your passport -- either due to your mistake or the government's -- don't just try to book tickets under your misspelled name. Get that mistake fixed, or it can come back to haunt you in a foreign country, far from any embassy, if they ask for further identification.
If you're a frequent traveller, you know the panic of running out of space in your passport because its expiration date -- but whatever you do, don't add in pages yourself, as they'll be seen as invalid. Passports with more pages can be ordered when you get your passport (for an additional cost).
Although one news story earlier this one told of <a href="http://digitaljournal.com/article/317257" target="_hplink">a man who used a scanned version of his passport on his iPad to enter the United States</a>, that practice generally won't work at most borders. Always have the physical document with you.
Covering The Passport
Putting anything on your passport as a covering material is not legal in most countries (note: the stickers depicted here are usually placed there by airline employees, and just fine).
Stamps For Certain Countries
This one's a bit more detailed, but there's long been rumours about stamps from certain countries making it impossible to cross borders into other ones -- Israel is one country that often crops up in these discussions. A thread on <a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1977291" target="_hplink">Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forum discusses this in detail</a>, but one option is asking Israel border guards - who are familiar with the issue -- not to stamp your passport in the first place.
Most people know not to travel with an expired passport, but some countries are even stricter in their regulations, requiring that a passport be valid for up to six months once you're entered their territory. Be sure to check specifics for any location -- a good list of <a href="http://traveltips.usatoday.com/countries-require-six-months-passport-validity-100788.html" target="_hplink">countries that enforce the rule is found here</a>.
Even if some countries have different regulations about their passport pictures (for example, some nations still allow for smiles in the shots), it's a good idea to adhere to international regulations for photos. A full list of <a href="http://www.ppt.gc.ca/info/photos.aspx?lang=eng" target="_hplink">requirements for Canadian passport photos can be found here</a>.
Watch out for that pool! Water damage, even a small amount, can render a passport invalid, and because it's difficult to predict how stringent particular border guards will be, it's a good idea to replace it even if it's only a few drops.
Pages that are ripped are considered to be damaged when it comes to passports. This is particular the case on the photo page, where airline staff might suspect falsified photos or details.