UN chief urges lifting of US measures suspending refugee resettlement

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UNITED NATIONS, Feb 01 (APP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that resettlement of refugees was often “the only possible solution” for people fleeing conflict and persecution, and that the US policy, which bars entry of Syrians into the country, “should be removed sooner rather than later.”
Asked about the impact of the Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump on 27 January, that, among things, halts the entire US refugee programme for 120 days, bars entry of refugees from seven mostly Muslim countries for 90 days and suspends entry of Syrians until further notice, the UN chief said resettlement is “a must” and the United States has always been at the forefront of refugee protection. Syrians are those that at present have the most dramatic needs.
Guterres, speaking to the press at UN headquarters just after returning from a trip to Ethiopia for the African Union Summit, emphasized: “In my opinion, the US policy is not the way to best protect the US or any other country, in relation to the serious concerns that exist about the possibility of terrorist infiltration. I don’t think this is the effective way to do so and I think these measures should be removed sooner rather than later.”
Noting that the measures “violate our basic principles,” he said
they are not effective if the objective is to avoid terrorist entering the US.
In his most sweeping decision since taking office, Trump put a
four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily barred travelers from Syria and six other countries. Civil rights and faith groups, activists and Democratic politicians were furious and vowed to fight the order.
During his election campaign, President Doland Trump had promised what he called “extreme vetting” of immigrants and refugees from areas the White House said the U.S. Congress deemed to be high risk.
He insists the order is “not a Muslim ban” and said the measures
were long overdue.