JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, says President Donald Trump's ban on citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. could hurt the global fight against terrorism.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir said Monday that the policy is the sovereign right of the U.S. but Indonesia, which is not one of the directly affected countries, "deeply regrets" it and believes it will have a "negative impact on global efforts to fight terrorism" and the handling of refugees.
"It is wrong to associate radicalism and terrorism with a particular religion," Nasir said in a statement. "Efforts to combat terrorism must be carried out by promoting international cooperation, including in addressing the root causes of terrorism."
Trump on Friday signed an executive order placing a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen, and a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program. Syrians are indefinitely blocked from entry.
Some governments including U.S. allies have criticized the policy, which caused chaos at U.S. airports on the weekend as travelers were detained and sparked protests.
The Indonesian government has advised its citizens in the United States to be familiar with their rights and respect local laws. It said its missions are monitoring any developments that could affect Indonesians in the U.S.