President Donald Trump’s travel ban that prevents Iraqis from entering the United States punishes people who are “fighting terrorism,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday.
“You come to the victim to hold him accountable, to the people who are sacrificing, who are fighting terrorism, to punish them,” the Iraqi leader said, in his first reaction to the ban.
Trump signed an executive order on Friday that bars citizens of Iraq and six other Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days, a decision he has billed as an effort to make America safe from “radical Islamic terrorists”.
The move has sparked a growing backlash in Iraq, whose forces are fighting against the Islamic State jihadist group, which overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014.
The foreign ministry has called it a “wrong decision” and said that Washington should review it, while parliament voted to back reciprocal restrictions on Americans if Washington does not change course.