US travel ban is a betrayal: Iraq’s ex-ambassador to US

January 31, 2017 10:30 am

Lukman Faily, Baghdad’s former ambassador to Washington (Photos by AFP)

’s former ambassador to the US says the recent US travel ban is a “betrayal” to Iraqis, noting that he himself has been affected by the move.
Lukman Faily said on Monday that Iraq is currently a partner with the US in the battle against terrorism and is not “exporting terrorists” anywhere, so “to be treated like this… to say it’s a betrayal (is) an understatement.” 
On January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order which locked the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen into the United States for 90 days. It also suspended entry of all refugees for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.
“I confirmed with the US embassy here in Baghdad that I am banned as well,” Faily added, noting that visas were only being given to Iraqis who were government officials.  

Members of a coalition of immigration lawyers wait for people affected by US President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on incoming refugees and travelers from seven Muslim countries, at the Los Angeles International Airport, California on January 30, 2016.

Iraqis “from all sort of walks of life have been banned — it isn’t effective,” Faily added.
He added that the move “does not reflect reliability” and that it also shows that Iraq cannot rely on the US, and that he believes it “will reflect to the Iraqi people that the US is unjustly treating them.”
Earlier, Iraqi legislators voted to call on the government to enact reciprocity measures blocking US citizens from entering the country if ban is not withdrawn.
The country’s Foreign Ministry has described Trump’s travel ban as a “wrong” decision, calling on the US administration to alleviate the restrictions on Iraqi travelers.
Faily noted that the ban and recent remarks made by Trump that the US should have taken Iraq’s oil all show that “there’s some level of chaos in Washington.”
“At this moment I cannot say that I have confidence in the US decision-making process in relation to what… they want Iraq to be,” he stressed. 
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