Vietnam among countries with lowest travel security risks
Vietnam among countries with lowest travel security risks
State Department makes changes to travel warning system
13 January, 2018, 05:31
The US tells prospective visitors to "reconsider travel" to Burundi due to crime and armed conflict. Those states are: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Estado de Mexico, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sonora and Zacatecas.
Eleven countries come with the do-not-travel recommendation, most in Africa and the Middle East: Mali, Central African Republic, Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea.
"Will issue an overall travel advisory level for every country, levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country" the state department said.
"Advisories are based on information from intelligence agencies, United States embassies and host countries' governments,"she added. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations", the new India travel advisory said".
"These are not political documents. U.S. officials travelling only to the capital cities in these states do not need prior authorization", it added.
There were, however, some surprises in the new rankings.
But some of the other country ratings may raise eyebrows - or global anger - even if the State Department says it is only presenting existing advice in a new format.
In September, the agency stated in a travel warning that, "numerous U.S. Embassy Havana employees have been targeted in specific attacks", suffering "significant injuries as a outcome of these attacks".
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Travel Advisories apply up to four standard levels of advice, give a description of the risks, and provide clear actionable steps US citizens should take, according to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Athens.
Ranking Pakistan on Level 3 (reconsider travel), the State Department asked its citizens to reconsider travel to Pakistan.
Level 2 in the new system means "Exercise Increased Caution". Most of Europe is rated a two, including France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, the U.K., Belgium, and Spain. Countries in this list include Russian Federation and Turkey. Canada and Australia are among the countries ranked Level One. At least 15 United Nations peacekeepers have also been killed in the country in recent weeks.
What were previously referred to as "warnings" and "alerts" are being re-classified as "advisories", accompanied by a color and number-based system with detailed descriptions on why an advisory has been issued.
"We wanted it to be an easier to understand system", Risch said.
Ms Bernier-Toth pointed out that USA nationals are not prohibited from traveling to any country, including those in the level-four category.
"We also needed to make sure that the information was more easily understood, putting it into plain language, making it clearer why we were ranking countries, why we were citing them as a threat or a risk".
Last week, the Saudi-led coalition announced it had intercepted a missile also fired at Najran from inside Yemeni territory. Saudi state news agency said the missile was intercepted and destroyed, causing no casualties.
The Asian nation's exports last year expanded by 7.9 percent, while imports soared by 15.9 percent for the year. That was down 12 percent from November's 9.01 million bpd, the second-highest level on record.
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