Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said President Donald Trump's ban on Syrians entering the United States targeted terrorists, not his country's people.
Trump last month issued an executive order, since suspended by a U.S. district judge, that temporarily barred travellers from seven mostly Muslim countries including Syria, as well as imposing an indefinite ban on all Syrian refugees.
Assad made the claims during an interview which is due to be broadcast laster today.
Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, pictured, said he supports Donald Trump's travel ban
Assad claimed Trump's ban was not 'against the Syrian people' but 'against terrorists'
In an interview broadcast with Europe 1 radio and TF1 television, the dictator said: 'It's against the terrorists that would infiltrate some of the immigrants to the West. And that happened. It happened in Europe, mainly in Germany.
'I think the aim of Trump is to prevent those people from coming... not against the Syrian people.'
Trump said his order, which triggered protests at home and abroad and confusion at U.S. and international airports, was intended to prevent militants from entering the United States. His administration is challenging the suspension ruling, which was upheld last week by appeal court judges.
Assad's government has often criticised Western states for their support for Syrian rebel groups, all of which are regarded by Damascus as terrorists, and has warned that such backing will lead to militant attacks around the world.
Trump has not yet set out a clear policy on Syria but has indicated he could cut U.S. support for insurgent groups and has said he wants to mend ties with Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin is Assad's strongest international ally.
Asked directly whether Trump's immigration policy was the right one, Assad did not answer. He also said he had not yet seen what Trump's Syria policy would be.