The Latest: France, Germany criticize US migrant block

AP News
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Posted: Jan 28, 2017 7:25 AM
The Latest: France, Germany criticize US migrant block

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on European reaction to President Donald Trump's halt to accepting refugees (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are putting on a united front in the face of President Donald Trump's halt in the U.S. refugee program, with the German minister noting that loving thy neighbor forms part of America's Christian traditions.

The French minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said Trump's order "can only worry us."

After meeting Saturday in Paris, both Ayrault and Sigmar Gabriel — on his first trip abroad since his appointment Friday — said they want to hold talks with Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state who is still awaiting confirmation.

Ayrault said: "There are many other issues that worry us. That is why Sigmar and I also discussed what we are going to do. When our colleague, Tillerson, is officially appointed, we will both contact him."

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9:50 a.m.

Two United Nations agencies say long-standing U.S. support for resettlement programs has offered a double benefit, "first by rescuing some of the most vulnerable people in the world and second by enabling them to enrich their new societies."

The International Organization for Migration and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said in a cautiously worded statement Saturday that they hope the United States "will continue its strong leadership role and long tradition of protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution."

The statement came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order making major changes to America's policies on refugees and immigration, placing particular restrictions on migrants from Muslim-majority countries.

The agencies say it's important to treat refugees equally, regardless of their religion, nationality or race.