Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Boris Johnson latest: Shock as US refuses visa for PM’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds | UK | News


The decision is believed to be due to Miss Symonds travelling to Somaliland last year. Somaliland, considered by the international community to be an autonomous region of Somalia, is a self-declared state that regards itself as the successor to British Somaliland, which was briefly independent before uniting with former Italian Somaliland to form Somalia. As reported by Mail Online, the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) asks: “Have you travelled to, or been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011?”

Applications which answer yes are automatically rejected following Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

The US does not recognise Somaliland, though UK does have political contact with Hargeisa while Ukip have previously announced support for international recognition for the region which for the most part has not suffered from violence at the hands of insurgent group as the rest of Somalia has.

Indeed, former foreign minister Saad Ali Shire has said: “Somaliland is a separate country. We don’t have the troubles and problems with terrorism and extremism that they have in Somalia.”

The Foreign Office website advices against all travel to Somalia, but the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa and former capital of Berbera on the coast are classified as “advise against all but essential travel”.

Miss Symonds travelled to Somaliland for five days with friend Nimco Ali, who campaigns against female genital mutilation and was born in Somaliland.

The pair met with President Muse Bihi Abdi to discuss women’s issues and sea pollution.

Miss Symonds had intended to visit the US as port of her work with Oceana, a non-profit organisation aimed at protect oceans.

She cannot ask Downing Street officially to intervene to get her stateside.

READ MORE: Carrie Symonds to wear Carolyn Kennedy wedding dress for Boris wedding

Mr Johnson’s divorce from his second wife Marina Wheeler is yet to be finalised.

Ms Wheeler and Mr Johnson separated last year, having wedded in 1993.

This was the same year he divorced his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen after a six year marriage.

The couple had four children.

These were sons Milo and Theodore plus daughters Lara and Cassia.

Mr Johnson has been Prime Minister since July 24th having succeeded Theresa May as Tory leader.

He has vowed to take the UK out of the EU on October 31st, without a deal, if necessary.

The Prime Minister has previously been Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London.

Having been born in New York City, he held dual American citizenship until 2016.



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