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UN chief on Trump bans: they should be removed sooner rather than later

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By Seamus Kearney
UN chief on Trump bans: they should be removed sooner rather than later
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The measures “should be removed sooner rather than later”.

Those are the words from the new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who has added his voice to the criticism of President Trump’s ban on Syrian refugees and people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

“This is not the way to best protect the US or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that exist about possibilities of terrorist infiltration,” said Guterres.

“I don’t think this is the effective way to do so and I think these measures should be removed sooner rather than later.”

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has also called on the world to “show solidarity” with Syrian refugees.

Filippo Grandi made his comments during a visit to a shelter on the outskirts of Aleppo.

“When you see this destruction you really understand what being a refugee means,” he said, “and why it is so important to show solidarity and not rejection, to provide them with asylum when possible and not push them back across borders.”

A panel of UN human rights experts is also warning that asylum seekers could face torture if turned away, while the Vatican has called for more “openness” to other cultures.