Middle East travelers rush to take advantage of Trump setback

The United States State Department will allow people with valid visas into the United States

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Citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries who were banned from the United States by President Donald Trump can resume boarding US-bound flightsafter a Seattle judge blocked his executive order.

A source from the US State Department confirmed to Al Arabiya that individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid.

"The Department of Justice informed us of the Washington State court ruling barring the Us government from enforcing certain provisions of executive order 13769, including those related to visas and travel. we have reversed the provisional revocation of visas under executive order 13769," the statement read.

The ruling gave hope to many travellers and sent some scrambling for tickets, worried that the newly opened window might not last long. Trump denounced the judge on Twitter and said the decision would be quashed.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” the president said.

The travel ban, which Trump says is needed to protect the United States against extremist militants, has sparked travel chaos around the world and condemnation by rights groups who have called it racist and discriminatory.

“Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in it’s death & destruction!” Trump tweeted. “When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security - big trouble!”

In the wake of Friday’s ruling, Qatar Airways was the first to say it would allow passengers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to resume flying to US cities if they had valid documents.

(With Reuters)

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