UN: UN chief urges US to lift immigration, refugee ban

New York, US (PANA) - Reacting to the recent suspension by the US of its longstanding refugee programme, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday said resettlement was "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."

Speaking on the impact of the Executive Order signed by US President Donald Trump, last Friday, which halt the entire US refugee programme for 120 days, and barred entry of refugees from seven mostly Muslim countries for 90 days, 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 said: "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," he said.

He also noted that, "the measures violate our basic principles", adding that, "they are not effective if the objective is to avoid terrorist entering the US."

On Tuesday, Guterres said refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are entitled to protection and care, and expressed concern at some decisions that have undermined the integrity of the international refugee protection regime.

"Refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are finding more and more borders closed and increasingly restricted access to the protection they need and are entitled to receive, according to international refugee law," the UN chief stated in a statement in New York.

He had also expressed his disagreement with Trump's Executive Order on immigration and refugees.
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01 february 2017 20:33:59

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