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The Trump Administration Just Removed a Country from Its Travel Ban

Citizens of Chad will once again be permitted to travel to the U.S.

Seven months after the African nation was added to Trump’s controversial travel ban, the administration announced that “Chad has improved its identity-management and information sharing practices sufficiently to meet the baseline security standard of the United States.”

“Chad nationals will therefore again be able to receive visas for travel to the United States,” the statement continued. The change in policy will go into effect on Friday.

While the ban in itself has been largely criticized, the inclusion of Chad came under particular scrutiny. Reports suggested that the country was only added to the original list because it ran out of passport paper, preventing Chadian officials from providing passport samples to the Department of Homeland Security.

Officials had also suggested that Chad had a “significant” terrorist presence and accused the country of inadequate information sharing regarding security issues. However, the explanation mystified security experts, who pointed to Chad’s key role in U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the region, including the fight against threats from Boko Haram and Islamic State affiliates in the Sahel.

Chadian Foreign Minister Cherif Mahamat Zene expressed pleasure with the news, tweeting that Chad “hopes to further strengthen the strategic partnership and cooperation between the 2 countries.”

Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, North Korea, and Libya remain on the list, although Axios reports that Libya may soon be removed as well.