Saturday 08 August 2020

US entry ban is ‘discriminatory’, says Dutch prime minister

Photo: Corepics via Depositphotos.com

US president Donald Trump’s decision to ban people from seven Muslim countries entering America is ‘discriminatory’, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday.

‘We reject this measure,’ Rutte is quoted as saying during a debate on the ban. Judging entire groups of people rather than individuals is ‘simple discrimination’, Rutte said, adding that he realised some people are concerned that terrorists could be hiding among ordinary migrants.

‘We are a decent country and are open for all who flee war and violence,’ Rutte said. Trump’s decree conflicts with western values and will not help the fight against IS because Dutch soldiers rely on the help of local groups such as Kurdish forces, he said.

In addition, the ban may force people from Muslim countries into the arms of IS, by making it harder to them to make the right choices, the prime minister said.

MPs had called on Rutte to make a strong statement opposing the ban, following comments earlier in the week by foreign minister Bert Koenders.

Nevertheless, Rutte said he planned to build a good relationship with the new US president and would not take part in general ‘US bashing’, he told MPs.

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