WASHINGTON (Oct. 18)
The State Department said today that It was reversing a previous decision and would now allow a visa to be granted to an officer of the Syrian UN Mission, Dia Allah el Fattal, whose visa was revoked by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service Oct. 2 during the height of the screening of Arab personnel for possible terrorist connections. Fattal was reported in Rome at the time.
No visa has been issued to his wife who Is reported to be an activist working with Palestinian extremist groups. State Department spokesman Charles Bray said today “We have concluded after a very thorough review that the weight of evidence” pointed to Fattal being allowed to return to New York. Asked about Mrs. Fattal, Bray said that since she has not applied for a visa the question was “academic” Bray reiterated that the US has the right to deny a visa to UN officials under the agreement with the UN.