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World

Countries React To President Trump's Immigration Order

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Europe, many leaders have rejected Donald Trump's ban on refugees and restrictions on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. The measures added to growing frustration and concern with the new American president. We turn now to NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, who is with us from Berlin. Good morning, Soraya.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: What are leaders in Europe saying about Trump's ban and immigration restrictions?

NELSON: Well, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, she said through her spokesman that she, quote, "regretted" the policy, that she rejects the idea that fighting terrorism justifies discriminating against people of a specific background or faith and that she told Trump so on the phone.

In the U.K., meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May at first would only say the ban was an American affair. But under pressure, her spokesman later said that the British government didn't agree with this kind of approach and wouldn't be following suit.

MARTIN: Trump also called Vladimir Putin on Saturday. Any idea if they discussed the ban?

NELSON: Well, if they did, it wasn't talked about by either side. But both did say that they were making fighting international terrorism their top priority.

MARTIN: Any idea of how many people in Europe will be affected by this?

NELSON: Well, we've heard many reports about travelers being stranded in European airports - scores of them, you know, unable to board their U.S.-bound flights. And most of them were sent back - and dual citizens, those who have nationalities, perhaps were born in one of the affected countries but hold a passport from one of the European countries.

In Germany, that accounts for about 100,000 people.

MARTIN: OK. So that's the view from Europe. We're going to shift now to another U.S. ally, this one in the Middle East. NPR's Alice Fordham says that Iraqis are still grappling with the consequences of Trump's ban. Let's take a listen.

MARTIN: Can you tell us about the next steps? What are European countries doing about this now?

NELSON: Well, the European governments all say they need to get clarification from the White House. The U.K. Foreign Office says that it's already heard back and that only people who are actually dual nationals who are traveling from one of the seven countries are likely to be affected by the ban.

MARTIN: NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Berlin. Thanks so much, Soraya.

NELSON: You're welcome, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.