By MARK MELVILLE, Associated Press – U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that would allow travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries to remain in the U.N. and U.K. for up to 90 days after they return.
Trump signed the order in the Oval Office, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
It suspends entry for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as refugees and visa waiver holders from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia and Syria.
The order bars U.s. officials from imposing a travel ban on anyone on the U.”s citizens or lawful permanent residents for 90 days, or indefinitely barring all travel to the United States by citizens of these countries, or by nationals of those countries, for 90 or 180 days, and denies entry to any individual or entity that engages in or supports the promotion of hatred, violence or oppression of any race, religion, nationality, political opinion, disability, gender identity or expression, or any group or category of individuals on account of such status.”
It also freezes the U.-S.
refugee program and limits the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely.
The executive order, which was signed by Trump at 9:36 a.m., suspends the entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya and Somalia, who have ties to those countries or have been previously convicted of terrorism.
It bars U,S.
officials “from discriminating against an individual or an entity on the basis of religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, marital or family status, or marital or reproductive status,” it says.
It also bars “all individuals who have engaged in acts of international terrorism from entering the United Nations, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Djibouti, Somalia or Yemen.”
The order also freezes visa issuance to citizens of countries that Trump did not list.
It does not include visas for travel to U. S. citizens from Iran or Syria.
Trump did not address the order when he signed it.
He was asked about the suspension during a joint news conference with U. K. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other ministers in the White House Rose Garden.
He did not offer a specific timeline for how long the ban would remain in place.
Abadi said in a statement that he is “committed to the continued success of the U-N and the U, and to fighting against the spread of terrorism worldwide.”
The Iraqi government will continue to cooperate with the U., he said.
The U.k. is also a target for terrorism and we will do everything we can to prevent the return of those who have committed terrorist acts,” the prime minister’s office said in an emailed statement.
Abdul Hadi, a member of the Iraqi parliament, said in his televised speech Friday that the country was “at a crossroads and we must decide whether we want to continue to be part of the United Nation or not.”
U.S.-led coalition forces have been bombing ISIS positions in Iraq since 2014 and in Syria since September.