Now excluded from travel ban, Iraq calls on US to end blacklist altogether

Published March 8th, 2017 - 02:00 GMT
This file photo taken on February 18, 2017 shows US Vice President Michael Richard Pence (R) and Iraq's Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi as they shake hands in Munich, southern Germany. (AFP/Thomas Kienzle)
This file photo taken on February 18, 2017 shows US Vice President Michael Richard Pence (R) and Iraq's Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi as they shake hands in Munich, southern Germany. (AFP/Thomas Kienzle)

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.


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