Mogherini blasts U.S travel ban, EU dual nationals not affected

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The United States has clarified that EU citizens will not be affected by the U.S. travel ban even if they hold dual citizenship with a country listed in executive order. However, the move unnerved top EU leadership.

Speaking on Wednesday at the debate on the U.S. travel restrictions at the European Parliament’s mini-plenary session in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: “We welcome this clarification, but let me be absolutely clear: this does not change our overall assessment about the executive order.”

Underscoring that the EU “certainly disagrees with” the executive order issued by U.S President Donald Trump, she said, “No one can be deprived of his or her own rights because of the place of birth, their religion or their ethnicity.”

“This is written in our constitution, both in Europe and America. This is who we are, this is our identity, this something we can not forget,” Mogherini stressed.

She pledged that the EU would not turn its back on anyone who has the right to international protection, because “this is where we stand, this is where we will continue to stand.”

“It would not be moral, it would not be just, it would not be legal and it would not be in our interest,” she said, “because this kind of measure has the potential to increase tensions and mistrust among peoples and nations.”

“A travel ban can maybe, maybe, give a temporary illusion of addressing the issue — but it can only create more frustration, and anger,” she argued.

Setting out a “European way,” she said, “only respect and cooperation can make us more secure. Only respect and cooperation can help us manage the many crises around the world.”

“We need cooperation, not closures. We need to engage. We need to build common ground, not to ban,” she said.

Under an executive order signed by Trump last Friday, refugees from all over the world will be suspended from entering the United States for 120 days while all immigration from so-called “countries with terrorism concerns” will be suspended for 90 days.

Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The total population from these countries exceeds 130 million.

Members of European Parliament joined Mogherini in condemning the U.S. travel ban.

Manfred Weber (Germany),on behalf of the European People’s Party group, said, “Generalized suspicion of countries and people leads to xenophobia.”

“Let’s be blunt: the travel ban is not against terrorism,” said Gianni Pittella (Italy), leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group, while arguing that Europe should close its doors to visits from Trump so long as the travel ban was in place.

“Americans voted for the candidate, who does what he promised to do,” reminded Syed Kamall, speaking on behalf of the European Conservatives and Reformists group. “So we must accept that this president, his priorities and policies are the consequence of the growing tide of discontent.”

Leftwing parties focused on turning away from Trump and setting the tone for others to follow.

Leader of the European Greens, Ska Keller, went as far as to urging the European Union to be the counter model to the U.S. president, becoming a “champion of protecting international law, human rights and freedoms.”

A small minority of Euroskeptic political groups, however, praised the travel ban, urging the European Union to follow the U.S. example, and meeting with derision from other members of European Parliament. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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