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Morocco removes 70,000 Moroccans from Libya

The Moroccan delegate to the minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mbarka Bouaida, has revealed that more than 70,000 Moroccan citizens have been removed from Libya since the start of the Libyan revolution in February 2011.

Bouaida told the Moroccan parliament on Tuesday that when the situation began to deteriorate in Libya, Morocco was very concerned with the safety of its citizens, adding that "out of 120,000 Moroccans living in Libya, less than 50,000 remained there".

Bouaida said a joint committee from the ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Moroccan Expatriate and Migration Affairs was formed to follow up on the subject.

According to the minister, two offices were opened in the border between Libya and Tunisia to welcome those who wanted to enter Morocco after the kingdom closed its consulates in Tripoli and Benghazi.

Bouaida added that Morocco has "removed all Moroccans who asked to return to their country and we allocated a special budget to facilitate their travel."

Commenting on the minister's remarks, an opposition lawmaker from the Socialist Union Party said "there are nearly 5,000 Moroccans trapped at the Ras Jadeer border crossing in Tunisia."

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