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Iraq to be excluded from Trump's new travel ban

Iraqi nationals were previously banned in Trump's original order [AFP]

Date of publication: 1 March, 2017

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Iraq would not be included in US President Donald Trump's new travel ban, officials said on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a controversial travel ban targeting Muslim majority countries, US officials said on Wednesday.

The administration's decision follows pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, four anonymous officials suggested, who urged the White House to reconsider Iraq's inclusion given its key role in fighting the Islamic State group.

The new order is designed to replace an earlier travel ban that was blocked by federal courts and is expected to be signed by the president later on Wednesday.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorised to discuss the order before it is signed.

However, the officials confirmed the other six Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - will remain on the travel ban list despite previous global outrage and condemnation.

Last month, US Secretary for Homeland Security John Kelly said the revised version of Trump's travel ban will not prevent green card holders and travellers already on planes from entering the United States.

Many, including major businesses and human rights groups, have criticised Trump's travel ban as an incarnation of his proposed 'Muslim ban' that was promised to supporters on the presidential campaign trail.

Meanwhile, Trump's team announced that it will not appeal the 9th Circuit Court's decision against the 'Muslim Ban' but vowed to create a streamlined and bulletproof alternative. 

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