Ivanka Welcomes Robotics Team From Afghanistan

In Reversal Afghan Girls Get US Visas To Attend Robotics Competition

But the U.S. president urged a reversal following public outcry over the Afghan girls' inability to attend the event, according to USA media, with the decision announced Wednesday.

The team of six Afghani girls were initially denied visas to the US after twice making the 500 miles journey from Herat to the U.S Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The non-profit organizing the competition celebrated the reversal in a jubilant statement Wednesday.

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The Department of State originally denied the Afghan girls visas at least twice, causing some backlash among the public. A spokesperson for the agency told the Associated Press on Wednesday that "all visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with USA law".

While the girls still won't be granted visas, they will be allowed in the United States for 10 days, under a Department of Homeland Security authority known as "parole", Politico reported.

"Of the 163 applicants, of 157 countries, have obtained their visas to the United States, including those from Iran, Sudan, and the team of the syrian refugees", said Mr. Sestak: "I could not be more proud".

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When he came to learn of visa denials, the president urged National Security Council officials to help the group enter the US.

Shortly after the change was announced, Ivanka Trump tweeted "I look forward to welcoming this brilliant team of Afghan girls, and their competitors, to Washington DC next week!"

The stated goal for FIRST Global is to inspire youth around the world to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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The group, which consists of six Afghan teenage girls, applied - and was denied - twice for visas by the U.S. At the time, the State Department declined to comment on why the visa were denied, saying "all visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with U.S. law". Roya Mahboob founder of software company Citadel who organized their interview told that the girls were very disappointed and they were crying all day. Robots will compete to collect clean and contaminated water "particles" represented by differently colored balls, and cooperation among the teams will also be rewarded throughout the competition, Mr. Sestak said.

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