US rejects visa request for top-ranking PLO member

Hanan Ashrawi, who negotiated for Palestine with previous US administrations, says no reason given for visa rejection.
WASHINGTON: The U.S. allegedly rejected the visa application of a ranking member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

“It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given. Choose any of the following: I’m over 70 & a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance,” Hanan Ashrawi said in a tweet on Monday.

The top member of the PLO said she spoke and negotiated with “every Sec. of State since [George] Shultz, & every President since George H. W. Bush (present administration excluded).”

Ashrawi spoke at the Madrid Conference in 1991 on behalf of the Palestinian delegation, and from there rose to international recognition, speaking to U.S. presidents and senior officials in multiple American administrations.

Her case echoes a similar one from last month, when co-founder of the Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions movement Omar Barghouti was barred from entering the U.S.

The U.S. made a series of moves to further isolate Palestinians ahead of the administration’s rollout of their proposed plan for Middle East peace, including recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, cutting hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance and aid to Palestinians and ordering the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Washington diplomatic mission, Palestine’s de facto embassy in the American capital.

“I just hope someone can explain this to my grandchildren & all the rest of my family there,” Ashrawi said.–AA

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