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Trump says US will add ‘a couple’ of countries to travel-ban list

Trump addresses the nation from the White House on Jan. 8, 2020, a day after Iran attacked US bases in Iraq. (White House/Releaed)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. President Donald Trump says his administration is planning to add “a couple” of countries to its travel-ban list and that the final decision would be announced “very shortly.”

Speaking on January 22 to reporters in Davos, Switzerland, where he attended the annual World Economic Forum, Trump said, “You see what’s going on in the world, our country has to be safe.”

The comments come one day after U.S. media reported that Washington was considering adding Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and five other countries — Burma, Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania — to the list.

Trump’s original order, issued three years ago, targeted citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, but it was later modified as it went through legal challenges.

The courts eventually allowed restrictions on the entry of some citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, along with Venezuela and North Korea.

The Wall Street Journal quoted officials as saying on January 21 that the countries added to the travel-ban list wouldn’t all face blanket bans on travel to the United States, but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas.

The list of countries “is not yet final and could be changed,” according to the website Politico, which said an announcement was expected as early as January 27.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley declined to give any details about plans to expand the list, but said the original order had been “profoundly successful in protecting our country and raising the security baseline around the world.”