Boris Johnson's girlfriend Carrie Symonds is spotted at the US Embassy

Mail Online | 3/1/2011 | Simon Walters for the Daily Mail;Mark Duell for MailOnline
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Boris Johnson's girlfriend was photographed outside the United States Embassy in London today after she was barred from visiting the country.

Carrie Symonds, 31, applied for a visa to go to America in the next few days as part of her job with a US-based environmental group, but the American authorities have blocked the request.

Today - US - Embassy - Building - Nine

Today, she was spotted leaving the new US Embassy building at Nine Elms in South West London as she was whisked out by a back door and into a waiting blacked-out Honda car while a G4S security guard watched on.

It is believed the decision to ban her from visiting America stems from a five-day visit made last year by Miss Symonds to East Africa, a region riven by civil war.

Prime - Minister - Girlfriend - Friend - Nimco

The Prime Minister's girlfriend went with her friend Nimco Ali, a campaigner against female genital mutilation, who was born in Somaliland.

During their trip, they met the self-declared Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi to discuss women's issues and sea pollution.

Reports - Miss - Symonds - Travel - Difficulties

Following the reports of Miss Symonds's travel difficulties, Ms Ali said on Twitter: 'Somaliland is Africa's best kept secret, it's my birth place and it's stunning.

'For 28 years without international assistance we have rebuilt our country and are the only democracy in the Horn of Africa. I am happy to personally show anyone around the land I was sourced from.'

UK - Handful - Nations - Relations - Somaliland

The UK is among a handful of nations who have diplomatic relations with Somaliland, which broke away from neighbouring Somalia in 1991. But crucially, the US – which backs Somalia – does not.

It is uncertain whether Miss Symonds applied for a US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (Esta). If she did, she would have been scuppered by her travel history.

Esta - System - Tourists - Country - Days

An Esta is an automated system which decides whether tourists can enter the country for 90 days without a...
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