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Indonesia says Trump curbs may hamper fight against terrorism

The foreign ministry said it "deeply regrets" Trump's order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough new controls on travellers from seven Muslim countries

By: AFP | Jakarta |
January 29, 2017 10:02:42 pm
U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to sign a memorandum to security services directing them to defeat the Islamic State in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst US President Donald Trump prepares to sign a memorandum to security services directing them to defeat the Islamic State in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

US President Donald Trump’s crackdown on Muslim immigration will damage the global fight against terrorism, Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country — said on Sunday.

The foreign ministry said it “deeply regrets” Trump’s order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough new controls on travellers from seven Muslim countries. Indonesia is not one of the countries.

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“Even though this policy is the United States’ authority, Indonesia deeply regrets it because we believe it would affect the global fight against terrorism and the refugees management negatively,” ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told AFP.

“It is wrong to link radicalism and terrorism with one particular religion,” Nasir said. Jakarta’s embassy in Washington has advised its nationals living in the United States to stay alert and learn about their rights from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Indonesians were also advised to be alert to their surroundings and contact the nearest consulate should anything happen to them after the ban was announced. Some 85 per cent of Indonesia’s 255 million people are Muslims.

Trump signed an executive order on Friday to suspend refugee arrivals for at least 120 days, and to bar visas for three months for travellers from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Sudan.

The move was met with widespread protests across the country. A US federal judge yesterday blocked part of the temporary immigration ban.

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