Yemen says Trump's travel ban on Muslims supports extremists

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks by phone in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

CAIRO (Reuters) - Yemen believes that U.S. President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on certain Muslims traveling to the United States supports extremists, a news agency run by the Saudi-allied government reported on Sunday.

The impoverished and war-damaged country on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula is one of seven Muslim-majority countries whose citizens face a 90-day ban on entering the United States.

Yemen’s northern regions, including the capital Sanaa and the country’s largest international airport, are controlled by the Iran-allied Houthi group while its internationally recognized government is based in the south and east.

“We resent the U.S. ban ... such decisions support the stance of extremists and sow divisions,” the SABA news agency quoted a source at the foreign ministry as saying.

Earlier on Sunday, authorities controlled by the Iran-allied Houthi group in Yemen’s capital denounced the ban as “illegal and illegitimate”.

Reporting by Ali Abdellaty; Writing by Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Tom Heneghan