Embassy denies asking Bush twins to leave Argentina

Buenos Aires, Nov 29 | Updated: Nov 30 2006, 08:10am hrs
The US Embassy in Argentina rejected reports that it had told President Bush's twin daughters to leave the country after a widely publicised purse-snatching incident.

ABC News reported on its Web site on Monday that embassy officials had "strongly suggested" that the twins, Jenna and Barbara Bush, cut short their visit to Buenos Aires due to security concerns.

Argentine officials confirmed last week that one of Bush's daughters had her purse stolen in San Telmo, a neighborhood popular with tourists.

The incident led to teasing by Argentine media about the twins' seemingly ineffective Secret Service bodyguards.

"We have seen a report from news sources stating that embassy officials strongly suggested that President Bush's daughters curtail their visit in Argentina," the US Embassy said in a written statement.

"This is false... The embassy welcomes the visit and has provided close support and cooperation," the statement read.