United States stops issuing some visas in Cambodia

Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Turay on Wednesday told a local radio station that Sierra Leone’s embassy in Washington will issue emergency travel certificates for the 27 citizens.

According to that section of the law, when a country denies or unreasonably delays accepting one of its nationals, the Secretary of Homeland Security may notify the Secretary of State.

“The Secretary of State must order consular officers to suspend issuing visas until informed by the Secretary of Homeland Security that the country in question has accepted the individuals”, an announcement from the embassy said.

The visa sanctions vary in severity, with Eritrea facing the harshest ones.

Cambodia sanction differs, only Foreign Ministry employees at or above the rank of director general, and their families, who apply inside the country will be barred from getting some visas for personal travel, the third cable said. The most recent instance was in October 2016 when the Obama administration stopped issuing visas to Gambian government officials and their families because the government was not taking back US deportees from Gambia.

Earlier this year, Cambodia stopped accepting the deportation of Cambodian nationals who had been convicted of crimes in the United States, saying it wanted to renegotiate a settlement agreement on human rights grounds.

In the West African nation of Guinea, a U.S. Embassy statement said the new restrictions on business, tourism and student visas affect only government officials and immediate family members.

Sierra Leone and Cambodia, which are also likely to be impacted by the visa restrictions, have not made any statement though there are no statements the on websites of the USA embassies in those countries as of Tuesday evening.

It is not clear why only Cambodia, Eritrea and Guinea were selected for the sanctions or why Sierra Leone, which was last identified as “at risk” for recalcitrance, was included.

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