(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Iraq calls for a full cancellation of US President Donald Trump's new travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, though it welcomes lifting Iraq from the list, said the Iraqi Foreign Minister.
Trump signed on Monday a new executive order banning refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. It is actually a scaled-back version of the previous travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim nations the president rolled out in late January.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who is participating in the ongoing Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, welcomed the new directive and called for full cancellation of the ban.
"It is a right decision [to exclude Iraq] but I expect the US government to lift the ban on the other six countries. We cannot let people from these countries assume the responsibility to fight terrorism. These nations should have been entitled to dignity and sovereignty and their people should have been respected. Democratic countries [like the US] are supposed to open up to them. Therefore I think it is a right direction to take Iraq off the list," said Jaafari.
Under the new order, Iraqi was taken off the initial banned list for reasons that its government has launched new visa vetting and data sharing procedures and that it has been a long-term partner of Washington in combating so-called Islamic State militants.
Except Iran, the other five of the six countries remaining in the revised ban, namely Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, are all Arab States.