President Donald Trump on Friday called for an overhaul of the U.S. visa program to let people travel to Turkey without a visa in exchange for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.
“I would like to give visas to all turkey producers,” Trump told a crowd in New Hampshire, adding that he has been working on a solution to the visa crisis.
“Turkey is not a problem for us, so let’s go to Turkey.”
Turkey is one of the countries in the Middle East where Trump has been seeking a solution for a visa shortage that has left many Americans stranded, with many unable to return to their home countries for fear of being caught up in the refugee crisis.
Trump on Wednesday said that he would accept a temporary suspension on refugee admissions in the U,D.C., area while he seeks a solution.
The president said he would consider allowing those with green cards to come to the U.,D.D. area, but that a permanent solution is needed to help the refugees who have come to America.
He also promised that he will appoint a special envoy to Ankara.
Trump’s proposal for a solution was met with skepticism in Turkey, where the country has been trying to secure a visa program for its citizens for some time.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for the temporary suspension of all visa-waiver programs and the return of migrants who have been detained in Turkey.
“We have not had any visa-free entry for a long time,” Erdogan said in a speech at a Turkish parliament event.
“There are some people in the United States who have had visa-less entry, and some of them have been arrested in the country.”
Turkey has said that more than 200,000 people have applied for visas to enter the country since Trump’s executive order, but many of them do not have any visa, and most do not even have valid visas.