Migration: European Leaders Seek Morocco’s Help

As the migration crisis in Europe has worsened and as illegal migration attempts from Morocco to Europe, particularly to Spain, have surged, some European countries are turning towards the North African Kingdom for help.

In this connection, some European leaders have scheduled visits to Rabat to address this issue with Moroccan authorities, reports Al Massae daily in its Monday issue.

The Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini will shortly visit Morocco part of a tour that will also take him to Tunisia and Algeria.

Italy announced early August it will give the three Maghreb countries funds in order to restrict the immigration flow to Europe. Matteo Salvini said that the funds will be allocated to investments in agriculture, trade, and fishing.

French President Emmanuel Macron advanced a scheduled visit to Morocco to September precisely because of the migration crisis in Europe. The visit will take place just after the summer holidays, the daily said, noting that this will be the second visit of the French president since his election.

Quoting well-informed sources, the daily said migration issues will be on top of Macron’s agenda.

Spain and Germany also stress the need to find, with Morocco, a solution to the migration crisis, Akhbar Al Yaoum, another local daily, reported Monday. It recalled that the two European countries have just signed an agreement providing for support to Morocco to help it cope with the waves of migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the new head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, announced Saturday, in a press briefing after a meeting in Andalusia, their support for Morocco to prevent that the North African Kingdom becomes a major crossing point for thousands of migrants seeking to reach Europe.

“Morocco is suffering from the pressure of migratory flows from sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, we need to strengthen our cooperation, not only with the countries of origin but also with transit countries like Morocco,” the daily quoted Pedro Sanchez as saying during the joint press conference with the German Chancellor.

The Head of the Spanish government recalled, in this vein, that the conclusions of the European Council held last June “reflect the commitment of all EU institutions and EU Member States to the need to strengthen cooperation with Morocco given the key role it has to play in the management of migratory flows”.

Early July, the EU approved a €55 million fund to assist Morocco and Tunisia to combat migration. Morocco then requested resources estimated at €60 million for border management and migration control.

For her part, the German Chancellor stressed that the EU must intensify its cooperation with Morocco in migration matters and increase cooperation funds destined to the Kingdom and to Tunisia, “two border countries that need help,” she said.

She also noted that “Morocco, a country that plays a very important role in the issue of migration, is also a partner with whom we have economic relations and close contacts,” the daily added.

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