Foreign leaders have been responding to President Donald Trump's sweeping executive order signed Friday that temporarily bars refugees and most citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
As demonstrators amassed at airports across the U.S. in protest of the order and its swift implementation, the leaders of allied countries and some countries affected by ban also began weighing in.
British Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman said May does "not agree" with Trump's order and will challenge the U.S. government if it has an adverse effect on British nationals.
The official comment came after May refused to condemn the ban during a visit to Turkey to meet with Turkish leaders. She said in Turkey the decision was a matter solely for the United States.
But after returning to Britain from a whirlwind visit to Washington—where she met Trump at the White House—and Turkey, her spokesman said Britain did not approve of Trump's policy.
The citizens of the U.K. also expressed their disdain of Trump in an online petition that would ban him from making an official state visit to the U.K.
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The petition states: "Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen."
More than 300,000 people had signed by Sunday morning.
[NATL] Trump Immigration Order Triggers Protests Across US
A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said the German leader believes the Trump administration's travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries is wrong.
Germany's dpa news agency quoted Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert saying Sunday that "she is convinced that even the necessary, resolute fight against terrorism doesn't justify putting people of a particular origin or particular faith under general suspicion."
Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone Saturday for the first time since his inauguration. A joint U.S.-German statement following the call made no mention of the topic of refugees or travel bans.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted a lengthy statement Saturday calling Trump’s ban “a great gift to extremists and their supporters.”
Iran announced a reciprocal visa ban, but Zarif noted in his statement that “unlike the U.S. our decision is not retroactive. All [Americans] with valid Iranian visa will be gladly welcomed.”
The Iraqi government said it understands the security motives behind President Donald Trump's decision to ban seven predominantly Muslim nations, including Iraq, from entering the United States, but underlined that their "special relationship" should be taken into consideration.
Government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said Iraqis are hoping that the new orders "will not affect the efforts of strengthening and developing the bilateral relations between Iraq and the United States."
Al-Hadithi told The Associated Press on Sunday the government hopes the "measures will be temporary and for regulatory reasons and not permanent at least for Iraq."
The order, signed Friday, included a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen. It also suspended the U.S. refugee program for four months.