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Morocco calls on Algeria to address conditions of displaced Moroccans

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry renewed its call on Tuesday for the Algerian authorities to convene a meeting of the Moroccan-Algerian joint committee to address the rights of displaced Moroccans who were expelled from Algeria in 1975, Al-Quds newspaper reported.

The newspaper cited Mbarka Bouaida, Morocco's Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, who reiterated her country's call while answering questions from the opposition in the Moroccan parliament.

Bouaida pointed out that a joint committee was formed to address the displaced Moroccans' rights; however, "Algeria has not shown willingness to discuss this file."

The Moroccan official news agency reported Bouaida as saying that Morocco had been contacting Algeria for some time in order to solve this file.

According to the Association for the Defence of Moroccan Victims of Arbitrary Displacement from Algeria, the regime of the late Houari Boumediene and his assistant at the time, current president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, expelled nearly 350,000 Moroccans from the Algerian territory and robbed them of their property in December 1975.

The expulsion came after Morocco annexed Western Sahara. Algeria supports the Polisario Front's claim to self-determination in Western Sahara, rather than the autonomy proposal presented by Rabat.

The UN Committee for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families issued on 20 September 2013 two recommendations to resolve this issue. One calls on Morocco to facilitate the reintegration of those Moroccans who were victims of mass deportation and to provide information on this issue in its periodic report for 2014, and the second calls for international cooperation on this file.

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