Former Iraqi ambassador to US banned from visiting America - calls Donald Trump restrictions a 'betrayal'

Trump administraton's so called 'Muslim ban' has provoked particular anger in Iraq as Baghdad politicians call for retaliatory measures 

Tuesday 31 January 2017 12:54
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Then- Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Lukman Faily speaking in Washington, DC on July 1 2014
Then- Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Lukman Faily speaking in Washington, DC on July 1 2014

The new US travel ban targeting citizens of Muslim majority countries is a “betrayal” of Iraqis, the country’s former ambassador to Washington DC has said.

Lukman Faily, who served as Baghdad’s representative to the US between 2013 - 2016 and like his fellow citizens is barred from entering the country, said that Donald Trump’s administration has signalled to the Iraqi people that “the US is [treating them] unjustly.”

Iraqis have worked alongside US forces to defeat terrorism since 2003, he said, and therefore for Iraq “to be treated like this... to say it's a betrayal [is] an understatement,” he told AFP.

Citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen are not allowed to enter the US for 90 days under President Trump’s far-reaching executive order, which also suspends the US’ refugee resettlement programme for 120 days and indefinitely bars those fleeing the Syrian civil war from seeking asylum in the country.

The hastily implemented legislation has caused outcry around the world but provoked particular anger in Iraq, where politicians and civilians have denounced the apparently flaunting of the two countries’ “special relationship.”

A parliamentary committee on Sunday called for Baghdad’s government to implement “retaliatory” restrictions on Americans visiting Iraq and was followed up by a parliamentary vote on Monday.

It is not immediately clear whether the vote will impact American civilians and military already living and working in Iraq, as well as those who seek to enter. No details were offered by parliamentary spokespeople.

Neither is it understood how the measures will affect cooperation in the ongoing battle against Isis.

Around 5,000 US troops are currently deployed in the country to assist Iraqi forces in the fight against the jihadi militants.

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