Thailand’s travel ban on US travellers will be lifted, but not without a fight
Nys travel restrictions on US citizens will be eased, despite a push from US President Donald Trump to restrict travel to the country.
The move to relax the restrictions came after an order from Trump last week to allow the US to temporarily suspend the entry of all travellers from seven countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Syria – and to bar all refugees from entering the country, with a 90-day suspension to be followed by an indefinite stay.
Trump, who had previously banned Syrian refugees and Iraqis from entering US, has since eased the restrictions, saying the US could “immediately and totally reopen” the US border with Mexico.
“The president said it will take a very, very, long time to be 100% successful and we are going to be working very hard to do that,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
“We have had an extraordinarily successful, thorough, and transparent vetting process and we expect the same to continue.”
Iran, Iraq and Libya have been listed as the seven countries whose citizens are banned from entering Thailand.
However, the move to ease the restrictions comes amid calls for the US not to impose a travel ban to the kingdom, despite Trump’s claims.
“If the US doesn’t like what it sees in Thailand, it should stop imposing this travel ban and allow people to go,” Thai immigration minister Prawit Wongsuwan said on Monday.
The Thai government has said that it will allow people from Iran, Somalia and Sudan, who have not been officially admitted, to travel to Thailand.
The ban on Iranian, Iraqi and Somali nationals will be phased out by April 2020, and will remain in place for at least another six months, said the statement, adding that “any person who is currently in the US illegally and who is admitted to Thailand as a refugee should be allowed to enter Thailand”.
“The US must respect its obligations under international law to protect its nationals,” said the official statement.
Kirby said that US officials are still assessing the impact of the travel ban.
“At this stage, we are not sure whether it will have any impact,” he said.