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US Delays or Denies Visa to State of Palestine Counselor, "No Reason"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 24 -- On the morning US President Barack Obama is to address the UN General Assembly, with Israel - Palestine and John Kerry's initiative among his top topics, the US has not not given a return visa to the State of Palestine's First Counselor to the UN, Rabii al Hantouli, Inner City Press has learned.

  Rabii al Hantouli has been active with the Palestinian mission since well before they were voted in as a non-member Observer State two years ago. Inner City Press readers may remember Rabii persistently sought accountability from UN official Stephane Dujarric after his UNTV unit blacked out a speech by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Click here for that.

  But Palestine is an issue the State Department ostensibly takes seriously. While they may say this is just a mistake, jocular comments contrary to the Host Country Agreement, about blocking or delaying visas, cast it in a different light. (This is especially true when the US said nothing when UN official Herve Ladsous met with ICC-indictee Omar al Bashir in July of this year.)

  Learning on Monday of his plight, Inner City Press inquired with Rabii al Hantouli, who replied:

"Hi Matthew, it is true I m still waiting, they do not give any reason. We already sent a letter to the host and the committee."

  The Committee is the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, the United States. Its meeting take place behind closed doors, after the fact, with a staffer from the US Mission to the UN trying to justify to member states why visas were not given in time, why some countries Missions are denied bank accounts (and are then accused of not paying their UN dues), why police didn't stop vandalism at Missions.

 How will this one play out? Watch this site.


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