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Saudi and Bahraini Causeway fast-tracks passport procedures

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The Saudi and Bahraini governments are likely to have their passport systems linked up by the end of March on the King Fahd Causeway, a move that is expected to save time for commuters.
Sources said the two countries would test the system on a special lane for two weeks in early March. The automated link will address the problem of traffic jams because commuters would only have their passports checked once when entering each country.
Saudi and Bahraini officials held a meeting earlier this week and agreed to set up a special lane and form a committee to follow up on its implementation. The first phase of the system is for Gulf Cooperation Council citizens.
A comprehensive review of the system is expected to take place after the trial run. There are major traffic jams on the causeway at the weekends, with up to 40,000 commuters a day crossing over.
An official at the Bahraini passports and residency affairs department said earlier that 236,436 passengers entered Bahrain via the King Fahd Causeway from Jan. 1 to 7 this year.

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