New Zealanders will attend a summit between US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G20 summit in Hamburg on Sunday (AEDT) amid fears the US could reintroduce a ban on refugees and other travellers.
Key points:New Zealanders who want to travel to Germany will be allowed to fly to Germany from the US as part of the summitThe US is expected to hold a second round of border checks in a bid to contain the flow of refugees from North Africa and the Middle East to EuropeNew Zealand is a major source of refugees fleeing conflict and persecutionIn a move that would be welcomed by European leaders, New Zealand will host Mr Trump in Hamburg for the first time since the end of the 2016 refugee crisis.
The New Zealand government has already announced a “safe pass” for New Zealand residents travelling to Germany to take advantage of the ban.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Bill English said it was “good to see New Zealand welcome the US and Germany”.
“It’s good to see our people welcome the United States and Germany in a spirit of friendship and good will,” he said.
“But the best way to welcome people is to allow them to come to our country and work and to make their lives here and feel welcome.”
The ban will not apply to travellers from Turkey, Syria, Eritrea, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Libya.
“It will be up to the US whether or not they want to allow New Zealand people to travel,” Mr English said.
A US State Department official said Mr Trump had requested the US allow more people to enter the country.
“The United States is actively reviewing the implementation of the visa waiver programme and will be monitoring the program closely to determine its implementation,” the official said.
New Labour leader Jacinda Ardern welcomed the decision, calling it “a win for our country”.
“We will not let our values be under threat,” Ms Arderns said.
The US has been a key source of asylum seekers fleeing conflict in the Middle Eastern world and Mr Trump has vowed to tighten border controls in the coming weeks.
Mr Trump will arrive in Germany on Sunday for the second time since his predecessor Barack Obama was elected to office in 2008.
He was due to fly into Hamburg from Berlin on Saturday and will attend the summit in the German city on Sunday.
He will also hold bilateral meetings with German Chancellor Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Newspaper polls show the two leaders are neck-and-neck in the polls.
The summit comes after Mr Trump and Mr Macron met briefly in the Bavarian town of Koblenz on Monday.
Mr Macron was reportedly asked by Mr Trump if the US would reconsider the refugee ban.
“We are looking forward to working together to reduce the flow and to provide more options for New Zealander’s who want a chance to come and live and work in our country,” Mr Macron said.