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Iraq's parliament has voted to 'retaliate' against Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban'

The 'special relationship' between the US and Iraq should be taken into consideration, Baghdad government spokesperson says

Monday 30 January 2017 12:50 GMT
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Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on 28 January 2017 after two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country
Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on 28 January 2017 after two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country (AP)

Iraq's parliament has voted to take "reciprocal measures" in reaction to the new US travel ban on citizens from several predominantly Muslim countries.

The majority vote - which is binding - means parliament will ask the government to retaliate by implementing visa restrictions on Americans visiting Iraq, a parliamentary official said 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.

It is also not 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.

The vote follows Sunday's recommendation from the Baghdad's government's foreign affairs committee to take action.

“Iraq is in the frontline of the war of terrorism... and it is unfair that the Iraqis are treated in this way,” the committee said in a statement.

Iraq is among the seven countries affected by the executive order on immigration signed into law by US President Donald Trump on Friday.

Among other measures, the new legislation temporarily suspends the US’ refugee resettlement programme, and bars even valid visa-holding citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has not yet reacted to the ban.

Rudy Giuliani explains how he helped Trump put together 'Muslim ban' legally

Several parts of the legislation have already been struck down by federal judges amid worldwide protests and outrage at all of the US’ major airports over the weekend.

Baghdad officials are due to meet with the US ambassador on Monday or Tuesday to convey their "dismay" at the ban, Reuters reported.

Two members of parliament - speaking on background - said that Iraq planned to lobby against the decision.

Iraqi refugees and immigrants who settle in the US are already subject to extensive vetting and background checks. Many worked alongside the US army and government agencies during the US’ invasion of 2003 - 2011.

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