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France calls for Trump's travel ban to be scrapped

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France calls for Trump's travel ban to be scrapped
A protester at JFK airport in the US. Photo: AFP
08:19 CET+01:00
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Monday in Tehran that it would be "common sense" for US President Donald Trump to scrap a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.
"I think that it would be common sense" for Trump to rescind the executive order imposing travel curbs on Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, Ayrault said at the start of a visit to Iran.
   
The measure was "unacceptable and very punishing for those concerned," he told members of the French community and media gathered at the ambassador's residence in Tehran.
   
"I am thinking of dual nationals, French-Iranians, Iranian-Americans, who have been hurt by this situation. It is a shock for them, a wound," he said, demanding "clarifications" from the US administration.
   
The decree signed Friday by Trump bars US entry to travellers from the seven countries for 90 days.
   
It also suspends the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days while those from Syria are barred indefinitely.
   
Ayrault earlier announced in Tehran that France plans to double the number of visas it issues to Iranians which the measure taking effect later this year.
   
France already issued 41,000 visas to Iranians each year.
   
Iran's foreign ministry said on Saturday it would ban Americans from entering the country in response to Trump's "insulting" order restricting arrivals from Iran and six other mostly Muslim countries.
   
French President Francois Hollande urged Europe to form a united front and provide a "firm" response to Trump.
   
The travel bans have sparked chaos and condemnation around the globe and in the United States where legal challenges were filed after airport officials detained dozens of travellers from the seven countries.
   
Trump says the measures are "about terror and keeping our country safe".
 
But on Monday, the French foreign minister said "terrorism has no nationality. We would be stronger in the fight against terrorism by respecting our values.
   
"The United States should continue to stand by these values," he said.
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