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Organizers of Kobzon’s concert in US to appeal his US visa ban

April 26, 2012, 13:19 UTC+3

Iosif Kobzon falls into a category of foreigners who have no right to get a visa or a permission to visit the United States

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NEW YORK, April 26 (Itar-Tass) — The organizers of Iosif Kobzon’s concert tour in the United States are preparing to file an appeal to the U.S. State Department, asking to revise a resolution which denied a U.S. visa to the singer, the organizers declared in New York on Wednesday.

The resolution which denies the U. S. visa of "P3" category to the Russian singer is based on two clauses of the U.S. Immigration Law under which Iosif Kobzon falls into a category of foreigners who have no right to get a visa or a permission to visit the United States. In fact, the two clauses apply to persons implicated in criminal activities or trafficking of banned substances, chemical stuff or drugs, in particular. The same reasons were given when Iosif Kobzon was denied a U.S. visa in the past.

The Russian American Consulting Corporation company, which organizes Kobzon' s concerts in New York, Chicago and Boston due in May- June, has dismissed the accusations against the singer as an invention. "Iosif Davydovich has repeatedly declared that he is prepared to answer any questions asked by the U.S. authorities and that no official charges have ever been brought against him, " said Andrei Shuranov, President of the company which organizes Kobzon's concerts in the U.S.

The organizers made it clear that they were upset over the U.S. decision, but they will not give in. "Dozens of thousands of Kobzon's admirers who live in the United States still look forward to a long-awaited meeting with their favorite singer", Shuranov stressed.

Iosif Kobzon was interviewed at the U.S. embassy in Moscow on March 15. Since then more than 4,000 letters from the Russian-speaking residents of the United States have been sent to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking to grant a U.S. visa to the singer. The organizers of Kobzon’s concert tour also appealed to the U.S. embassy in Moscow.

Iosif Kobzon, who will celebrate his 75th jubilee on September 11, is planning to go on a farewell concert tour and intends to sing in the United States in May-June, giving concerts in New York, Chicago and Boston.

Iosif Kobzon last visited the United States in 1994. A year later the U.S. State Department annulled his multiple entry visa, claiming that the singer might be involved in illegal transactions with substances subject to control. Since then the singer’s attempts to get a U.S. visa have yielded no result. 

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