Moroccan diplomat accuses some Spanish circles of triggering aversion against Morocco
Morocco-Spain, Politics, 11/14/2003
Morocco's ambassador to Spain, Abdeslam Baraka, blamed in an interview published Wednesday in the Spanish daily "El Pais" several Spanish circles of causing aversion against Morocco each time there is a "misunderstanding" between the two countries.
"It is irresponsible that each time there is a misunderstanding between Morocco and Spain, the Spanish media and some authorities work to trigger aversion against Morocco," deplored Baraka.
The diplomat described the accusations that Morocco encourages immigration as "dishonest," underlining that the kingdom is twice a victim of this phenomenon since it loses its youth who seek better chances in Europe and has become a "waiting room" for sub-Saharans who want to go to Europe.
After he recalled that the Moroccan-Spanish high level meeting is set for 8-9 December, Baraka deplored that the work of the Moroccan-Spanish immigration task group has been "stalled" since last April because of Spain's stance concerning the repatriation of Sub-Saharan immigrants.
"We cannot take in charge everybody: Algerians, Sub-Saharans, Asians and in a near future Ecuadorians," he said.
Baraka insisted that the fight against illegal immigration is a constant concern in Morocco, recalling the instructions given by king Mohammed VI to create two institutions in charge of fighting illegal immigration: a directorate of illegal immigration and borders surveillance and a migration observatory.
On the question of minors' repatriation, the ambassador said Morocco's consulates have adopted this year procedures to repatriate hundreds of minors in illegal situation abroad and that the kingdom proposed to Spanish authorities an agreement on the regulation of minors' repatriation.
In the same vein, Baraka deplored the non-implementation of the Moroccan-Spanish accord signed in 2001, and which defines procedures for the legal migration of workers. The diplomat pointed out that a great number of Moroccans in illegal situation in Spain are ready to return to their country provided that they be exempt from the expulsion procedure which will ban them from obtaining a Schengen visa for ten years.
Baraka also raised in the interview the Sahara question, underlining that Morocco would never tolerate that its territory be used for activities likely to undermine the interests of neighboring countries and called Spain to act similarly "because we have the impression that the leaders of the separatist group of Polisario move here (Spain) as if they were home."
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