United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday condemned United States President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions on people from seven Muslim-dominated countries, reported Reuters. A freeze on refugee resettlement was not the “best way” to protect the country, said Guterres.

“I think that these measures should be removed sooner rather than later,” said Guterres, adding that such bans risked playing to the advantage of terrorist organisations seeking to recruit members. “I think that they are not effective if the objective is to, really, avoid terrorists to enter the United States,” he said according to AFP.

Guterres argued that if a global terrorist organisation was trying to attack a country like the US, they were likely to use people travelling on the passports of “developed and credible countries”, or use those people who had been living in the country for decades. He said he hoped the US will establish resettlement for refugee and Syrians won’t be excluded in that process. Guterres had served as the UN refugee chief for 10 years before taking over as the secretary-general.

A panel of UN Human Rights experts on Wednesday told the Trump administration that its measure breached international humanitarian and human rights laws. The measure could lead to “increased stigmatisation of Muslim communities”, the experts said.

The four-month curb imposed by Trump is specific to seven Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The new order immediately halts a US programme that allows for the relocation of people displaced by war, political oppression, hunger and religious prejudice to the United States. The Iraq parliament on Monday passed a “reciprocity measure” to counter US’ restrictions.