The United States and the European Union are pledging to boost efforts to end a row that has sparked calls for the EU to suspend visa-free travel in Europe for U.S. citizens.
The EU says that under their visa-waiver agreement Washington must permit citizens from all 28 member countries to travel in the United States without visas.
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But Washington refuses to do so for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania until they meet the requirements of U.S. law.
In Malta on Friday, EU and U.S. security officials said they "intend to step up efforts to improve security cooperation with a view to assisting (the five) in advancing more rapidly toward the fulfilment of the requirements" for a visa-waiver.
They agreed to hold regular technical talks to monitor progress.