US Travel Ban Unjustified

Angela MerkelAngela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday reaffirmed her criticism of a US travel ban slapped on travelers from seven countries, saying it smacked of anti-Muslim bias.

“The essential and also resolute fight against terrorism in no way justifies general suspicion against people of a specific faith, in this case people of the Muslim faith or people of a certain background,” she told reporters in unprompted remarks about measures enacted by US President Donald Trump, German news website reported.

“This approach in my view contradicts the basic tenets of international aid to refugees and international cooperation,” she said ahead of talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Merkel said her office and the German Foreign Ministry would do “everything in their power” to clarify the legal situation “in particular for those with dual citizenship” of Germany and the blacklisted countries.

She said Germany would “emphatically represent their interests to achieve legal certainty” for those potentially affected by the ban.

A German government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said she had raised the issue in a telephone call with Trump on Saturday, reminding him of obligations under international human rights law, including the Geneva Conventions’ requirements on refugees.

Germany’s Green party has suggested drastic consequences for Trump after he ordered a temporary travel block for refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

“If the USA does not immediately rescind this insane travel block for … German citizens [with dual nationality], then we should block Donald Trump’s trip to the G20 summit in Hamburg. It is not possible to have serious discussions under these circumstances,” Green party parliamentary spokesman, Dieter Janecek, said.

Trump accepted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s invitation earlier to the July summit.

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