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Iraq FM calls on US to fully remove Muslim travel ban



Iraq, which has been excluded from a revised US travel ban, decries the prohibition in its entirety, calling on Washington to respect the dignity of the six other Muslim-majority states and remove them from the blacklist.

Back in January, US President Donald Trump ordered an entry ban on citizens of Iraq as well as Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

The order was met with massive domestic and international backlash before being blocked through legal proceedings at a federal court. On Monday, however, Trump signed a new executive order affecting the nationals of all those countries except Iraq.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Ja’afari reacted to the new measure during an Arab League ministerial meeting in Cairo on Tuesday.

“It is a right decision [to exclude Iraq] but I expect the US government to lift the ban on the other six countries,” he said. “These nations should have been entitled to dignity and sovereignty and their people should have been respected. Democratic countries are supposed to open up to them,” he added.

The US took Iraq off the list after Baghdad started sharing certain data on individuals with Washington, and accommodated a Washington-ordered visa vetting regime.

Other reactionsAlso criticizing the executive order were Somalia, Sudan and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said on Tuesday that the estimated 150,000 Somalis in the US “have contributed to the US economy and the US society in different ways.”

“We have to talk about what the Somali people have contributed rather than a few people who may cause a problem,” he added.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry also spoke of its “deep regret and discontent” over the new order.

“Sudanese citizens have never been involved in any crimes or terrorism in the United States,” it said.

Grandi, meanwhile, urged Washington to exercise “humane leadership” by acting differently “at a time of record-high levels of forced human displacement.”

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