Kuwait has denied a media report which said it had imposed a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, a story which U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been calling several news organizations critical of him “fake news,” shared on Facebook.
"Smart!" a post on Trump's official Facebook page said Thursday, linking to a report on Jordanian news website Al Bawaba which alleged that Kuwait had "mirrored" a decision by the Trump administration to temporarily bar travelers from several countries.
The article claimed that "Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans" would not be allowed to enter the Gulf state "while the blanket ban is in place."
But Kuwait's foreign ministry refuted the report, which was widely picked up by news outlets popular with Trump supporters including Breitbart and Infowars.
Kuwait "categorically denies these claims and affirms that these reported nationalities ... have big communities in Kuwait and enjoy full rights," a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on state news agency KUNA Friday. Citizens of the countries mentioned visit Kuwait regularly, it added.
Confusion and protests at airports greeted the executive order Trump signed last weekend barring entry into the United States by travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.
Representatives of the countries in question, as well as several neighboring nations, condemned the move, but Trump on his Twitter account said the initiative enjoyed support in the region.
"Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in it's death & destruction!" he wrote after the United Arab Emirates, the small oil-rich and Muslim U.S. ally, seemed to defend the ban despite global outcry.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed called the ban an internal U.S. matter and argued that it was not meant as a ban on Muslims. The UAE and other Arab Gulf nations stayed mostly silent when Trump publicly vowed to put a ban on Muslims during his campaign.
Reports also suggest that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are in fact happy that Trump won the election as they expect him to be tough on their regional foe Iran as well as more aggressive in Syria and supportive of the extremist opposition groups they support against President Bashar Assad.
Meanwhile, in a defeat for the U.S. president, the travel bans have been temporarily halted after a federal judge ruled against them arguing it was against the constitution.