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Hungarian president boycotts U.S. travel

Aug. 18, 2005 at 2:48 PM

BUDAPEST, Hungary, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Hungary's new president announced he won't visit the United States as long as it demands fingerprints from foreign visitors.

Laszlo Solyom, a former constitutional court judge, told the daily newspaper Magyar Hirlap that he was concerned about "going over the top with extraordinary measures and restrictions of rights" in the fight against terror.

"I will not be going to the United States -- and as a scholar I did not go -- while I am obliged to give my fingerprints," he said.

Meanwhile, Hungarian-born U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., spoke at a U.S. Embassy news briefing in Budapest this week, and said he had extended an invitation to the new president to visit the United States.

"I assured him that there was no question of him having to give his fingerprints," Lantos said.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy also told reporters that visiting politicians were not expected to give their fingerprints.

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