U.N. Secretary-General Urges U.S. to Lift Travel Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) -
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaking earlier this month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling on President Donald Trump to lift his ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries “as soon as possible.”

Guterres said on Tuesday that countries have the right to avoid infiltration of terrorist organizations — but not based on discrimination related to religion, ethnicity, or a person’s nationality.

Guterres warned that “blind measures, not based on solid intelligence, tend to be ineffective as they risk being bypassed by what are today sophisticated global terrorist movements.”

He also said such discrimination is against “fundamental principles and values” and “triggers widespread anxiety and anger” that may spur extremist propaganda.

Guterres expressed concern that refugees fleeing conflict and persecution are finding more borders closing, in violation of the protection they are entitled to under international refugee law.