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Vietnam OKs s visa waiver for Czechs during leader's visit

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/06/2017
Czech President Milos Zeman watches Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, left, sign an agreement on transferring convicted criminals with Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Zeman is on a two-day visit to the Southeast Asian country to boost trade and tourist ties between the two countries. (AP Photo/Tran Van Minh) © The Associated Press Czech President Milos Zeman watches Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, left, sign an agreement on transferring convicted criminals with Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Zeman is on a two-day visit to the Southeast Asian country to boost trade and tourist ties between the two countries. (AP Photo/Tran Van Minh)

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam agreed to give Czech citizens visa exemptions for up to 15 days to boost tourism between the two countries.

The agreement was reached in talks between Czech President Milos Zeman and his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi on Wednesday.

Zeman told reporters that the two presidents also agreed to launch direct air service between Vietnam's southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City and Prague. It's unclear when the service would be launched.

Last year, Vietnam unilaterally gave visa waivers of up to 15 days for nationals from Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain. Earlier visa exemptions were given to Scandinavian countries, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

Zeman said he was accompanied by 68 Czech businesspeople on his two-day visit to Vietnam where seven deals including a $20 million beach resort project were signed.

Vietnam has seen 10 million foreign arrivals last year, up 26 percent from the previous year.

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