Former Nato chief Javier Solana denied United States visa waiver

26 Juin, 2018, 00:13 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • European Union former policy chief and former NATO secretary-general Javier Solana seen during the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting entitled 'Ukraine and the World Addressing Tomorrow’s Challenges Together', organized by the Yalta European Strategy

The former North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general Javier Solana has been refused a visa waiver to enter the US because of his past trips to Iran, one of the countries blacklisted by US Department of Homeland Security. They have to apply for new Electronic System for Travel Authorization permission before traveling to the U.S.

Solana, who was scheduled to give a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, was refused USA visa by an electronic authorization system because of visiting the rival state, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.

The rules were introduced before President Donald Trump's travel ban on the five Muslim-majority countries.

Under the system, those who have visited any of seven blacklisted countries - Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen - on or after 1 March 2011 are barred from receiving the waiver and have to apply for a visa.

However, Solana did tell the New York Times the rejection was likely "to be more bureaucratic than political", and that he was in the process of applying for a USA visa.

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They must instead apply for a visa, which involves a face-to-face interview at a United States embassy or consulate. "I don't think it's good, because some people have to visit these hard countries to keep negotiations going", Solana told the Spanish TV station Antena 3.

Last time, he travelled to Tehran in 2013 during a ceremony headed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

"I went there to represent all those who had been involved in the negotiations", he said.

President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May.

British-Iranian BBC journalist Rana Rahimpour was denied entry to the U.S. in January 2016, despite her dual nationality.

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