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U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 20, 2004

[ ... ]

QUESTION: A member of the Syrian parliament -- his name is Mohammed Habash; he's from the Islamic moderate wing of the Islamist and the Syrian Parliament. He was on trip to the United States a couple of weeks ago, and he was -- his visa was canceled. He was returned back on the same plane. Now we know that the stream of Congressmen to Syria never stops. And they are usually welcomed and received very warmly in Syria. Do you have any -- I know that the Homeland Security Department has explained the matter as technical, almost matter. Do you have anything to add to the political dimension or implication of this act?

MR. BOUCHER: I really don't because I do not believe there is any political dimension of this. The State Department -- as best I can tell, and I did some checking this morning -- was not in any way involved or contacted about this matter. It is something that was done and decided by the Department of Homeland Security. I'd leave it to them to speak to it.

[ ... ]

[ End ]