DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on Yemeni citizens travelling to the United States is “illegal and illegitimate,” authorities controlled by the Iran-allied Houthi group in Yemen’s capital said.
The war-damaged and impoverished country in the south of the Arabian Peninsula is one of seven majority Muslim countries whose citizens face a 90-day ban on entering the United States.
Trump, a businessman who successfully tapped into American fears about terror attacks during campaigning for November’s presidential election, has also put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States.
The Houthi-controlled news agency SABA quoted a foreign ministry source as saying the ministry was aware that such an action is the sovereign right of the U.S. government.
But “the source said emphatically that any attempt to classify Yemen or its citizens as a possible source of terrorism and extremism was illegal and illegitimate”.
Yemen has been divided by nearly two years of civil war.
The Iran-allied Houthi group has de facto control of northern areas, including the capital Sanaa and the country’s largest international airport, while the internationally recognized government is based in the south and east.
An official in that administration said on Saturday that it was “dismayed” by the visa ban.
Its embassy in Washington issued an advisory on Sunday for Yemenis already inside the United States “not to travel outside the United States until clarification of details (on the ban).”
Reporting By Noah Browning and Mohammed el-Sherif; Editing by Catherine Evans