- Published: Wednesday, 01 February 2017
The Trump Administration have made significant changes to their Middle East engagement policy in the past week.
Donald Trump has ordered a temporary ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, even if:
• they have Green Cards
• they’re Syrian refugees who’ve already passed all the background checks
• they’ve already worked on the US’s side in the fight against ISIS
• they’re fleeing religious persecution, like Christians in Iran
Trump also wants to suspend the issuing of visas to people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for at least 30 days.
Trump said: “We cannot, and should not, admit into our country those who do not support the U.S. Constitution or those who place violent religious edicts over American law.”
He argued that there was no way to tell the difference between a refugee and a terrorist. The ban would stay in place until the vetting process could be strengthened. Such bans have been used before, such as in the aftermath of 9/11, but were quickly revoked.
This is at least, a watered-down version of his previous pledge for a “total and complete ban” on all Muslims entering the USA, but human rights groups around the world have rightly denounced Trump’s plans.
Trump has begun engaging with traditional US allies in the Gulf region to rebuild their relationship.
In a joint press conference, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir and the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, the two confirmed Trump’s wish to rebuild the alliance between America and Saudi Arabia, along with containing Iran’s destructive influence in the region and finding a solution the Syrian crisis in line with UN Security Council resolutions and Geneva conventions.
Al-Jubeir said: “We look forward to working with the Trump administration and we are very positive about the future of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.”
Ayrault said that France and Saudi Arabia are leading the battle against terrorism and extremist ideologies. Thankfully, Trump appears to acknowledge that Iran is behind most terrorist activity in the middle east.
Hopefully, he will end the appeasement of the murderous mullahs. Former US security officials have urged Trump to work with the Iranian Resistance instead.
The Trump Administration plans to set up safe zones within Syria for refugees, as he has now banned them from entering the US but it could take as long as three months for the plans he has ordered, to even be announced, let alone implemented. That’s the same length as the Muslim Ban.
The plans are backed by Turkey and a Syrian Islamist group said that they supported the idea in theory but wanted to see the US plans before commenting further.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said: “What’s important is the results of this study and what kind of recommendation will come out.”