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US lifts travel ban on Chad

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The United States
announced Tuesday
the lifting of its six
month ban on visitors
and immigrants from
Chad, saying the
country had met key
security requirements
for vetting travelers .

“The president
announced today that
Chad has raised its
security standards to
meet important
baseline US national
security
requirements,” the
Department of
Homeland Security
announced .

“Therefore, its
nationals will again be
able to receive visas
for travel to the
United States. ”
The travel restrictions
will be officially
terminated on April
13 .

The central African
country’ s government ,
which the US calls a
“critical” partner in
fighting terrorism , had
expressed
astonishment in
September last year
when the US
unexpectedly added it
to a list of five other
core Muslim
countries under a
travel ban.
Chad’ s foreign
minister
Cherif Mahamat Zene
welcomed the news .

“Chad is pleased to be
removed from the list
of countries whose
nationals are banned
from entering the
United States, and
hopes to further
strengthen the
strategic partnership
and cooperation
between the two
countries, ” he
tweeted.

Critics say the ban was
first declared in
January 2017 without
Chad on the list of
targeted Muslim
travelers , pointing to
President Donald
Trump’ s campaign
promises to ban
Muslims from coming
to the United States.

After a series of court
challenges, the Trump
administration revised
the ban in September ,
putting all the
countries listed under
a 180 day review .

The Department of
Homeland Security
has maintained that
the ban focused on
getting countries to
improve information
on their citizens and
cooperation on travel
databases, to meet US
security standards .

US officials said Chad
has addressed the
deficiencies in vetting
outward bound
travelers and
cooperating with US
security bodies.

They said it sets an
example for other
countries on the list ,
which include Iran ,
Libya , Syria, Somalia ,
Yemen , and North
Korea.

The ban was applied
in a limited way to
officials from certain
Venezuelan
government agencies
as well .

“We welcome the
improved practices by
the Chadian
authorities, which
demonstrate a clear
off ramp for countries
placed on the travel
restriction list . These
improvements will
improve security for
the people of Chad
and the United States, ”
the State Department
said.