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France calls for support for Morocco, Algeria to halt illegal immigration

Refugees are seen after being rescued from the Mediterranean Sea on 15 June 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]
Refugees are seen after being rescued from the Mediterranean Sea on 15 June 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]

Morocco and Algeria are ready to cooperate with us but they are seeking international financial support to secure their borders, France’s interior minister, Gerard Collomb, said yesterday.

Speaking in an interview with France’s L’Expresse, Collomb explained that Algeria and Morocco as “transit countries for immigrants heading to Europe” were facing several issues that require financial support to be able to control the inflow of illegal immigrants into the North African countries.

The French minister pointed to what he described as “hordes of illegal immigrants targeting the European Union.”

Over the past eight months, he noted, the European authorities monitored some 33,795 illegal immigrants who have arrived at the European continent via the nautical route linking Morocco and Spain.

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“France will bear the Moroccan Haraka immigrants whose majority target the French capital of Paris,” Collomb stressed.

The French official criticised a recent move by the Mayor of Paris, Ann Hidaglo, who has welcomed the Haraka immigrants from Morocco and has promised to shelter them, warning that the city has been under “high pressure.”

“Paris had received over 50 per cent of the total asylum applications in the region,” he revealed.

Collomb, one of the French President Emmanuel Macron’s most loyal ministers, yesterday announced that he will stand down as the interior minister next year to run again for his old job as mayor of the city of Lyon. His announcement came a month after the resignation of the country’s environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, who has quit as Macron’s popularity plummeted.

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