The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad, Nasser Bourita, described the French authorities’ decision to reduce the number of visas granted to Moroccans as “unjustified”.
“Morocco has always managed the issue of immigration and the flow of people with a logic of responsibility and a balance between facilitating the movement of people and combating illegal immigration,” Bourita said during a press conference with his Mauritanian counterpart, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. .
During this press conference, Bourita was keen to stress that since the beginning of the year until August, Moroccan consulates issued about 400 pass cards to those who were residing illegally in France, allowing them to return to the country.
However, according to him, Morocco will not be held responsible for people who decide not to return because French law allows them to decide whether or not they want to take a COVID-19 test before leaving, TheSchengen.com reports.
Based on the current rules in force in Morocco, those who refuse to take a coronavirus test are denied entry, which means that not everyone who resides in France illegally will be admitted unless they take the test.
The minister said that the decision taken by France did not reflect the actual situation between the two countries. However, the state will review it.
Burata’s statements come in the wake of the announcement by the French government’s spokesman, Gabriel Attal, who said in an interview with Europe 1 Radio that France will cut half the number of visas granted to Moroccans and Algerians and reduce them by 30 percent to those who are its citizens. Tunisia.
It’s a tough decision. It is an unprecedented decision, but a necessary one because these countries do not accept to take back nationals that we do not want and cannot keep.
According to him, immigrants who are welcomed in France should become part of the community with the assurance that those who do not intend to remain within French territory should be escorted at the borders.
However, since the countries of origin of those illegally residing in France refuse to issue consular permits, the French authorities have decided to reduce the number of visas granted.
The tightening of visa grants to citizens of Morocco and two other Maghreb countries, Tunisia and Algeria, came six months before the presidential elections in France, leading everyone to suspect that this was just part of the campaign.
Based on data collected by TheSchengen.com, only during the year 2020 France issued 73,381 entry visas to Moroccans.