US & Canada

Trump executive order banning refugees: World reacts

People attend a rally and candlelight vigil in Los Angeles, California Image copyright AFP
Image caption A rally and candlelight vigil was held in Los Angeles on Friday

President Donald Trump's decision to halt all refugee admissions and temporarily bar people from seven Muslim-majority countries has been criticised by rights groups and activists around the world.

However, some right-wing European politicians have welcomed the move.

Here is some reaction.

  • The United Nations called on Mr Trump to continue protecting refugees, regardless of race, nationality, or religion
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May - who met Mr Trump on Friday - said she does "not agree" with the ban, and will intervene if it affects British citizens
  • Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, tweeted: "To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength"
  • German leader Angela Merkel believes it is not justified to put people from a specific background or faith under general suspicion, according to her spokesperson
  • Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said "President Trump's ban on refugees and immigrants from certain countries is shameful and cruel"
  • The Arab League, which has 22 member states including most of the countries directly affected by the ban,expressed deep concern about the "unjustified restrictions"
Image copyright Twitter / JustinTrudeau
  • French President Fran├žois Hollande warned that a protectionist approach would be a "dead end", and France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, "The reception of refugees fleeing the war, fleeing oppression, is part of our duties"
  • Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, condemned the order, tweeting that "it will be recorded in history as a great gift to extremists and their supporters". The foreign ministry also said it would introduce a reciprocal ban for US visitors to Iran, but said it would not apply to those with visas
  • In Iraq, some members of parliament were also mulling a reciprocal ban, an idea which has also been supported by influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
  • But the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, praised Mr Trump's order. A spokesman said on Twitter: "US President Trump protects his country, he's concerned with the safety of his citizens. Exactly what EU elites do not do"
  • Dutch anti-Islam political leader Geert Wilders tweeted: "Well done @POTUS it's the only way to stay safe + free. I would do the same. Hope you'll add more Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia soon," using an acronym for President of the United States

Key points

'Extreme vetting' sows seeds of panic

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Trump's order has been sharply criticised by rights groups and activists
  • The International Rescue Committee called the decision "harmful and hasty", saying that it would affect thousands of innocent people.
  • Amnesty International called it an "appalling move with potentially catastrophic consequences"
  • Human Rights Watch said the order was a "blow" to refugees, and that it would "do little to address terrorism and other national security threats"
  • Leonard Doyle, a spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration told the BBC that it was Mr Trump's right to review his country's immigration policy but it was important that refugees and migrants were still protected
  • Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council told AP news agency: "[The decision] will not make America safer, it will make America smaller and meaner"
  • The American Immigration Lawyers Association said: "Broad language in the order appears to be designed to target people of Muslim faith"
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption British athlete Sir Mo Farah lives in the US but was travelling when the ban was introduced
  • Sir Mo Farah, the British-Somali athlete who recently received a British knighthood and has been a US resident for six years, said the policy was based in ignorance and prejudice: "It's deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home"
  • Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, said she was "heartbroken" and urged Mr Trump not to abandon the world's "most defenceless children and families"
  • Google has recalled travelling staff members to the US. The company told the BBC it was concerned about measures which could block great talent from the US.

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