US President Donald Trump intervened to clear visas for a group of Afghan girls who were planning to participate in a robotics competition. As per a report by AP, girls’ applications for US visas had been denied twice. However, when Trump came to know about the case, he intervened and decided to grant the visas to the girls. The details of reversal were confirmed by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday, ending a saga that had sparked an international backlash. The decision would allow the six girls from the war-torn country into the US, along with their chaperones, so they can participate in the competition. The non-profit organisation expressed its happiness over the decision. “I truly believe our greatest power is the power to convene nations, to bring people together in the pursuit of a common goal and prove that our similarities greatly outweigh our differences,” Joe Sestak, the president of First Global, was quoted as saying by AP. Sestak credited “the professional leadership of the US State Department for grant of 163 teams from 157 countries, including a team of Syrian refugees.
However, the US State Department had earlier declined to comment on why the Afghan team’s visa applications were denied, saying that “all visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with U.S. law.” AP reports that girls had been deeply disappointed by the initial rejections. “When we heard that we were rejected we lost hope,” said 14-year-old Sumaya Farooqi. “We applied again for the U.S. visa and we were rejected again.”