The Albabwa news website reported that Kuwait has issued a ban on issuing visas for applicants from five Muslim-majority countries. Persons from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are thus barred from being admitted to the oil-rich Muslim kingdom, apart from diplomats. The similar executive order issued by President Trump for the United States barred applicants temporarily from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
According to Albabwa, such travel restrictions are nothing new to Kuwait. Syrians have been barred admission to the country since 2011. The restrictions were put into place in Kuwait in response to political instability in the above-named countries. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan, for example, harbor radical Taliban terrorists, while both Iraq and Syria remain embroiled in sectarian terrorist violence. Many in the region believe it is Iran that is seeking to destablize the countries of the Middle East.
Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are of concern to Kuwait. Both organizations have followers in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.
Over the past two years, Kuwait has witnessed a number of terrorist attacks, which included the bombing of a mosque of the Shia sect of Islam in 2015 that killed 27 Kuwaitis.
Until Trump’s executive order, Kuwait was the only country in the world that totally barred Syrians. In nearby Dubai, the national security chief Dhahi Khalfan outraged Syrians and other Muslim majority countries when he publicly praised Trump’s decision.
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