New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 6 (ANI): White House advisor Kellyanne Conway has confirmed that Iraq will not be included under the travel ban in revised executive order on immigration and refugees.
Iraq will not be included under the travel ban "based on their enhanced screening and reporting measures," Conway said on 'Fox and Friends'.
Her comments are the first time an administration official has definitively and publically said the nation will be removed from the order.
After reports in the U.S. media suggested that Iraq will not feature in the ban list in the revised immigration order by Donald Trump, it has emerged that the country's name was dropped after intensive lobbying from the Iraqi government at the highest levels.
CNN reports that, according to a senior US official, the lobbying included a phone call between Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on February 10 and an in-person conversation between Abadi and Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on February 18.
The report says that those conversations were followed by discussions between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and members of the Iraqi government about vetting measures in place that would prevent suspected terrorists from leaving Iraq and coming to the United States.
In Trump's call with Abadi, the President vowed to seek a resolution to his counterpart's concerns about his citizens' being unable to enter the United States, according to a readout of the phone call from Baghdad.
Trump also faced pressure to remove Iraq from the order from some American national security officials, who argued the restriction burdened a key anti-ISIS partner. Some of those voices were holdovers from the Obama administration.
Trump's executive order on immigrants and refugees, that was halted by a federal court, indefinitely barred the Syrian refugees from entering the country, suspend all refugee admissions for 120 days and block citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries namely Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days (ANI)