A Slovak member of the European Parliament, Branislav Škripek, was invited to visit the USA. However, he could not get through passport control in Istanbul because of stamps in passport from neareastern countries, informed the portal Topky.sk.
The situation is a result of American President Donald Trump restricting inhabitants of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the USA for 90 days.
Škripek who is also the head of ECPM (European Cristian Political Movement) accepted the invitation to a National Prayer Breakfast from senators John Boozman and Christopher Coons.
However, airport security stopped him at Istanbul airport and did not allow him to get on the plane to Washington leaving him stuck in Turkey for two days.
The workers at the airport did not accept his ESTA ID (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). and there were stamps from Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan In Škripek’s passport. This immediately invalidated his authorisation and prevented him from stepping on board a plane destined for the USA.
“I was trying to get a renewed or activated ESTA ID for two days because as an MP of the European Parliament I have an exemption from that regulation,” said Škripek for the Topky.sk tabloid news website.
“However, the system was so overwhelmed that it was impossible to solve electronically,” he continued. “American office workers were not prepared for the flood of requests which have appeared after the regulation of Donald Trump had been instated,” stated Škripek for Topky.
Even after two days Škripek's attempts were not successful and he had to return to Brussels.
2. Feb 2017 at 22:21 | SITA, Compiled by Spectator staff