As the US presidential election is fast approaching, Trump is making immigration restrictions a central focus of his 2020 campaign.
President Donald Trump of the United States (US), will today (Friday, January 31, 2020), disclose the expansion of his controversial travel ban list.
According to Politico, two people familiar with the matter have confirmed the development.
It was gathered that the travel ban expansion list was supposed to have been disclosed on Monday, January 27, to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the original order, which restricted travel from several majority-Muslim nations. But the expansion list disclosure could no longer hold, as the Trump administration was busy responding to the fast-spreading coronavirus.
Two US officials have confirmed that one of the changes in the updated list, which will soon be announced, calls for people coming from Sudan to be barred from the US diversity visa program, which awards green cards to immigrants.
An official however said it might be possible for some Sudanese to get waivers.
A draft of the updated ban that was being considered also would place immigration restrictions on an additional six countries, but not necessarily completely bar all citizens of those nations from entering the US.
As earlier reported, Nigeria, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania, will be on a list of countries to be placed on visa restrictions.
Although, at press time, it is unclear which other countries will make the final ban list, or exactly what the new restrictions will entail, but government officials in the US, said as of Thursday, January 30, the proposal was still in flux
Iran’s foreign minister said on Tuesday he has been informed by UN chief Antonio Guterres that Washington has denied him a visa for a trip to UN headquarters in New York.
“What we know is that the US State Secretary (Mike Pompeo), in a call to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: ‘We did not have time to issue a visa for Mohammad Javad Zarif and we will not issue a visa’,” Zarif said.
“The Secretary-General responded by saying that it is Iran’s right to take part in this session,” Iran’s top diplomat said, quoted by semi-official news agency ISNA.
So far there has been no official confirmation from Washington that it has rejected Zarif’s visa application.
Zarif was speaking to reporters in Tehran at a gathering to promote an Iranian peace plan for the Gulf.
His remarks came as Iran held funeral processions on Tuesday for one of its top military commanders killed in a US drone strike in Iraq.
Qasem Soleimani’s assassination has sparked a war of words between the arch-foes, with Iran vowing “severe revenge” and US President Donald Trump threatening to hit back hard for any retaliation.
Trump warned on Saturday that Washington had lined up 52 targets if Tehran attacked US personnel or assets.
On Tuesday, Zarif said the US visa decision was “a sign of the bankruptcy of the US government and Trump’s regime”, according to ISNA.
The Iranian foreign minister said he had been planning to go UN headquarters on Thursday for an open debate on “Upholding the Charter of the United Nations”.
But he added that he had also intended to “raise America’s crimes” during his visit to New York.
It is not the first time that Iranian officials have encountered problems when travelling to New York for events at UN headquarters.
In December, the United Nations General Assembly called on the United States to lift restrictions on Iranian diplomats.
Since mid-2019, Iranian diplomats and ministers have been under strict movement restrictions when they are in the United States.
They are limited largely to the area around UN headquarters, the Iranian diplomatic mission and the ambassador’s residence.
In September, while taking part in the annual General Assembly, Zarif complained he was unable to visit the country’s UN ambassador in a US hospital.
Nigeria would commence the issuance of visa on arrival to holders of African passports as from january 2020 as part of measures to promote free movement and facilitate the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Nigeria had signed the free trade agreement deal in July in a bid to boost inter-state trade among African countries.
A statement by Femi Adesina, a spokesman to President Muhammadu Buhari quoted the Nigerian leader as saying the country would bring down all barriers to encourage trade and commerce in line with the AfCFTA agreement.
Buhari states this in Egypt on Wednesday during the opening session of the ongoing Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa.
According to Buhari, Africa must take its destiny in its hands by minimizing reliance on donor funding for the execution of peace, security and development projects.
Buhari noted that in order to realize the Pan-African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena, barriers that hinder free movement must be dismantled.
“In Nigeria have already taken the strategic decision to bring down barriers that have hindered the free movement of our people within the continent by introducing the issuance of visa at the point of entry into Nigeria to all persons holding passports of African countries with effect from January, 2020.
Buhari also called for massive investment in transportation infrastructure saying this was necessary for African economic resurgence as it would facilitate the African Free Trade Area Agreement.