German chancellor Angela Merkel is the latest world leader to wade in on Donald Trump's travel ban, saying the fight against terrorism does not justify putting large populations or religions under automatic suspicion.
A spokesman for Merkel, who welcomed over one million refugees into Germany at the height of the European migrant crisis, said Sunday she believes Trump's executive order which suspends the entry of travelers from seven Muslim countries and bans refugees is wrong.
Germany's dpa news agency quoted Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert saying 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, whose country was recently the victim of a terror attack when a Tunisian asylum seeker rammed a truck into a Berlin Christmas market, spoke by phone with Trump Saturday for the first time since his inauguration.
"The chancellor regrets the U.S. entry ban against refugees and citizens from several countries," Seibert said, adding that Merkel had expressed her concerns to Trump during the phone call.
She also reminded him that the Geneva Conventions require the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds, Seibert said.
He said the German government would now review the consequences of the ban for German citizens with dual nationalities and would "represent their interests, if needed, vis-a-vis our U.S. partners."
Her comments follow those of British Prime Minister Theresa May, who personally met Trump just hours before he made the order.
Her official spokesman said Sunday that 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.
Who is affected by Trump's executive order?
- Citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations - Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen will be prohibited from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
- Green card holders from any of those countries currently outside of the U.S. will need to report to a local U.S. consulate for "extra vetting," and admitted or rejected on a case-by-case basis, according to administration officials.
- Refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.: All refugees will be banned from entering the country for 120 days. Refugees from Syria will be banned indefinitely.
- Anyone with U.S. citizenship will not be affected.