Trump sets calls with leaders of Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Korea

AFP , Sunday 29 Jan 2017

US President Donald Trump (AFP)

US President Donald Trump will speak by phone with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, amid an uproar over his travel ban for some Muslim majority countries.

Trump also will talk to the acting president of South Korea, Hwang Kyo-Ahn, the White House said Saturday in a brief statement.

The new Republican president, who took office on January 20, first will speak with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in the afternoon.

The next call will be with the crown prince of the UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE are among the seven Muslim majority countries affected by Trump's sweeping executive order Friday barring visas for 90 days to migrants or visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The migrant crackdown, which also included a 120-day suspension of the US refugee resettlement program, sparked protests across the United States on Saturday.

A federal judge late Saturday blocked part of the temporary immigration ban, ordering authorities to stop deporting refugees and other travelers stuck at US airports.

Trump's planned phone call with South Korea's acting president comes as North Korea steps up its nuclear and missile capabilities. Pyongyang's missile program and its pursuit of nuclear arms have drawn repeated sanctions from the UN Security Council.

Regime leader Kim Jong-Un said in a New Year speech that the country was in the "final stages" of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Such an ICBM could theoretically target the United States.

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