Sunday 21 January 2018

Flanagan warns of ‘far-reaching implications’ of Trump’s Muslim ban

Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan Photo: Tom Burke
Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

US President Donald Trump’s order to ban travellers and refugees from seven Muslim countries gaining entry into the US will have “far-reaching implications”, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has warned.

It comes as the US Embassy in Dublin issued a notice informing nationals of the countries affected, including dual nationals, they will not granted visas.

Even people who have already scheduled a visa interview at the US Embassy in Ballsbridge have been told to not bother attending “as we will not be able to proceed with the visa interview”.

The countries affected are Syria Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

The Embassy noted that US Customs and Border Protection has implemented Mr Trump’s ban  at its Pre-Clearance facilities, including at Dublin and Shannon airports.

Amid international outcry, Mr Flanagan today committed to raise the issue when he visits Washington next week for a series of meetings on Capitol Hill.

“While US immigration policy is a matter for the US authorities, it is clear that the most recent decisions could have far-reaching implications - both on humanitarian grounds and on relations between the US and the global Muslim community.

“Accordingly, I share the concerns of other EU partners regarding this most recent development,” Mr Flanagan said.

He noted that Ireland has a “vibrant multinational community” and is “welcoming 80 asylum seekers every month from migration camps in Greece, as well as refugees from the Lebanon”.

Social Protection Minister Leo Varakdar said today that the Taoiseach should go ahead with the annual St Patrick’s Day visit to the White House.

But he added: “It can’t just be about smiles and shamrocks.”

Health Minister Simon Harris today described the US policy as “deeply troubling, upsetting, unjust and discriminatory”.

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