Trump calls for end of visa programme after truck attack
WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump yesterday criticised the nation's visa system in the wake of Tuesday's truck attack in New York City that left eight dead.
He blamed Democrats and pressed for a "merit-based" programme for immigrants to the US.
"The terrorist came into our country through what is called the 'Diversity Visa Lottery Program,' a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based," Mr Trump tweeted, referring to the Senate Democratic leader.
Mr Trump also said he had ordered more robust "extreme vetting" of travellers coming into the United States.
"I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already extreme vetting program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!" he tweeted.
"My administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation," the formal statement issued in Mr Trump's name said.
He also paid tribute to the "first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims".
Singapore strongly condemns the attack, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement. "We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, and wish the injured a swift recovery," the statement said.
The MFA said the Singapore Consulate in New York has reached out to Singaporeans who are e-registered in New York. "Thus far, there have been no reports of Singaporeans directly affected or injured in the incident," it said.
The MFA advised Singaporeans in New York to exercise vigilance, follow the instructions of the local authorities and remain alert to local developments.
Meanwhile, the President of Uzbekistan, Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev, yesterday offered to help the US authorities in the investigation. The suspect in the attack was identified as an Uzbekistan citizen.
"Uzbekistan is ready to use all forces and resources to help in the investigation of this act of terror," Mr Mirziyoyev said, offering condolences to Mr Trump in a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website. - WIRE SERVICES