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Morocco: Parliament denounces EP resolution on migration crisis with Spain

June 12, 2021 at 10:36 am

Moroccan security forces stand guard as migrants arrived for swimming to Spanish territory of Ceuta at Tarajal beach, in Fnideq, Morocco on 19 May 2021. [Jalal Morchidi – Anadolu Agency]

The Moroccan House of Representatives on Friday denounced a resolution issued by the European Parliament (EP) regarding the crisis between Rabat and Madrid on the issue of immigration to the Spanish-administered city of Ceuta.

This came in a statement issued by the Moroccan Parliament following an emergency meeting with the heads of parliamentary blocs late on Thursday night.

On Thursday, the EP voted on a resolution rejecting what it considered “Morocco’s exploitation of the file of (unaccompanied) minors in the crisis of migration to the city of Ceuta,” with the approval of 397 deputies, while 85 opposed and 196 abstained.

READ: Spain refuses to use European aid as bargaining chip against Morocco

According to the EP’s decision, Morocco uses minors as a tool for “political pressure” on Spain after recently attempting to relax border control, which led to a significant surge in the number of illegal migrants crossing to Ceuta.

The Moroccan statement considered the EP resolution: “A manoeuvre to distract attention from a political crisis between Morocco and Spain.”

“The decision is a failed attempt to Europeanise a bilateral crisis (between Morocco and Spain),” the statement asserted.

The statement indicated that the Moroccan Parliament regrets the attempt to: “Use the European Parliament as a tool by a few of its members, who turned a blind eye to the important partnership between Morocco and the European Union.”

In early June, King Mohammed VI of Morocco issued an order to “settle the issue of unaccompanied minors” who are irregularly residing in European countries, especially France and Spain. This resulted in the return of dozens of minors to Morocco.

READ: Spain accuses Morocco of ‘blackmail’ after migrants flood into Ceuta

The number of unaccompanied Moroccan minors in Europe, especially in Spain and France, is estimated at 20,000, according to Moroccan non-governmental associations.

A crisis erupted between Rabat and Madrid following Spain’s decision to host Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front, who entered the county to receive treatment for the coronavirus using a false identity between 21 April and 1 June.

Additionally, around 8,000 irregular immigrants flowed from Morocco to the Spanish-administered city of Ceuta between 17 and 20 May.