The State Department’s chief spokesman defended Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s right to speak freely while abroad, but repeated criticism of his visits to Iraq and Libya.
Spokesman Nicholas Burns steered clear of comment on Farrakhan’s meeting during the weekend with Syrian President Hafez Assad in Damascus. But he said it was different from Farrakhan’s visits to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Burns had attacked Farrakhan’s failure in the meetings in Libya and Iraq to raise the issue of state-sponsored terrorism against Americans.
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