International reactions to Trump's travel ban

International reactions to Trump's travel ban
Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017.
PHOTO: AFP

BAGHDAD - President Donald Trump's order to ban US entry to nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries has sparked growing international criticism. Here is a roundup of reactions on Monday:

Parliament voted to call on the Baghdad government to enact a reciprocal travel ban on Americans if Washington does not withdraw its decision to bar Iraqis.

"We reject... the decision to prevent the reception of Iraqis in the United States of America, and call for its review," Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told the US ambassador to Baghdad.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said it would be "common sense" for Trump to scrap the travel ban.

The measure was "unacceptable and very punishing for those concerned", he said at the start of a visit to Tehran, while also announcing his country plans to double the number of visas it issues to Iranians.

Graphic: AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused the United States of unfairly targeting Muslims.

"The essential and also resolute fight against terrorism in no way justifies general suspicion against people of a specific faith, in this case people of the Muslim faith, or people of a certain background," she said.

Yemen warned Trump's order would encourage global "extremism".

"Yemen expresses its dissatisfaction after the order prohibiting, even for a limited time, the entry to the United States of people holding a Yemeni passport," a government spokesman said.

The travel ban is illegal and "mean-spirited", said UN human rights chief Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein.

Zeid tweeted that "discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law", adding that "the US ban is also mean-spirited and wastes resources needed for proper counter-terrorism." .

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation said the travel ban would strengthen the position of extremists worldwide.

"Such selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to embolden the radical narratives of extremists and will provide further fuel to the advocates of violence and terrorism," it said.

Israel said it was seeking clarification of whether the ban applies to tens of thousands of elderly Israeli Jews born in Middle Eastern countries, many of whom are over the age of 65 and fled persecution.

The aviation industry's trade association criticised the bans for "causing confusion".

"We ask for early clarity from the US administration on the current situation," said the International Air Transport Association.

Starbucks and Airbnb, to help those affected by the temporary immigration ban, pledged to hire more refugees and provide accommodation.

"We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question," Starbucks chairman and chief executive Howard Schultz wrote in a letter to employees.

The chief executive of American finance firm Goldman Sachs sent a voice mail to employees outlining his concerns.

"This is not a policy we support, and I would note that it has already been challenged in federal court, and some of the order has been enjoined at least temporarily," said Lloyd Blankfein.

Chaos at US airports after Trump orders halt on Muslim immigrants

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said the European Union, having put up its own barriers, was in no position to judge Trump's immigration decrees.

Europe "is not in a good position to give opinions about the choices of others. Or is it that we want to forget that we too erect walls in Europe," said Alfano.

"When you live in a house you have the right to decide who to accept, who to host, and if you arrive at the conclusion that someone poses a security risk this decision is up to you," said Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek.

"This is something that only the Americans can decide and we can hardly advise them on this." .

The number two of France's far-right National Front, Steeve Briois, said its presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen could emulate Trump's example to limit entry to France if she is elected in May.

"We live in a horrible world, and so from time to time we have to take measures which are authoritative, even shocking," he told AFP.

On Sunday several other world leaders and governments had already criticised the US restrictions, including Britain, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Sudan, Indonesia, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Poland. Iran said it would reciprocate.

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