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Pompeo sees progress in reopening travel with EU

Tourists arrive in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in June 2020 as the European Union eased coronavirus travel restrictions that remain in place for Americans who want to visit . ©AFP

Washington (AFP) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he saw progress in reopening travel with the European Union shut by the coronavirus pandemic but offered no timeline.

The European Union declined to include the United States, where COVID-19 cases are rising, in a safe list of nations whose nationals can visit the bloc.

Pompeo said the United States and European Union were discussing "procedures and protocols" to put in place to resume travel.

"We've made some real progress -- technical progress -- and now we need to draw that to a conclusion," Pompeo told a news conference.

"And then there'll be a system -- a system to monitor and measure to make sure that we get the timing right," Pompeo said.

"Both sides understand that our economies depend on it.The deep, important transatlantic relationship matters."

President Donald Trump in March also imposed a ban on most Europeans, initially drawing outrage before the continent took similar measures on its own.

But Europe has largely contained its COVID-19 outbreaks since then while the United States has seen an ever-rising number of daily cases and has suffered more than 130,000 deaths.

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