Arab countries offer limp opposition to Trump executive order

Some Arab countries express support: 'Attempt to create impression that decision targets certain religion is incorrect'

Contact Editor
Shimon Cohen, | updated: 10:55

Trump in White House
Trump in White House
Reuters

Americans are still angrily demonstrating against the executive order which President Donald Trump is trying to enforce against the entry of nationals to the US from seven countries defined as "encouraging terror". However there are apparently voices in Arab countries supporting Trump's move.

Researchers of the MEMRI organization have gathered a number of statements in this vein over the past few days which testify to the fissure in the Arab world. They also cited the fact that the Arab League did not loudly protest the president's directive but offered a laconic statement on the matter.

Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan have also kept silent as they wish to maintain cordial relations with the new administration. Saudi Arabia has offered audible support for the president's initiative. Saudi Energy Minister Khaled Al-Falah said in a BBC interview that it was not directed against Islam and that "it is the right of America to ensure the security of its nation."

Another senior Arab quoted by the researchers is the Foreign Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who said that "there is no doubt that countries have the right to take sovereign decisions. America took a decision within the framework of these sovereign decisions. There has been an attempt to make the impression that the decision targeted a certain religion but this is incorrect."

MEMRI estimates that the reason Trump's decision is being supported by these nations is due to the fact that the directive included Iran together with six other Arab countries - Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. The UAE and Saudia Arabia have very strained relations with Iran and therefore support Trump's initiative.

Even those countries which expressed their opposition to the decision did this in a cautious manner, focusing on the damage to individual citizens of the seven countries and reiterating their cooperation with America in its struggle against terror while calling on President Trump to reevaluate his view.

Qatar, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which according to reports is regarded as a terror group by the Trump administration, only offered a flaccid response offering that Islamic states cannot be viewed as the source of terror and calling on Trump to reevaluate his view.

Two countries mentioned in the order responded themselves - Sudan and Yemen - but also offered cautious responses to the order, stating that they were upset with the order but would continue to cooperate with America and that "such decisions give more support to extremists."








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