World News

East Libyan government issues retaliatory entry ban against U.S. citizens

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - A government based in eastern Libya said on Wednesday it would bar entry to U.S. citizens after President Donald Trump’s administration included Libya in a new travel ban.

The eastern-based government of Abdullah al-Thinni is aligned with Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar and is opposed to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

Announcing its ban, the eastern-based government said it was responding to “a dangerous escalation that targets Libyan citizens and puts them in the same basket as the terrorists against whom our... armed forces are fighting”.

It was not clear when or how the Libyan ban would be enforced.

Libya is among eight nations included in a new U.S. visa ban announced on Sunday. It was also included on previous bans that have faced multiple legal appeals.

The new ban said Libya faced “significant challenges in sharing several types of information, including public safety and terrorism-related information”.

It said Libya also had “significant inadequacies in its identity-management protocols” and was “not fully cooperative with respect to receiving its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States”.

Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli and Aidan Lewis; Editing by Gareth Jones