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France applies visa restrictions to former Morocco ministers

Flag of Morocco [Kristin Harvey/Flickr]
Flag of Morocco, 8 May 2019 [Kristin Harvey/Flickr]

France has expanded visa restrictions to include former Moroccan ministers, officials and businesspeople, Rai Al-Youm online newspaper reported on Friday.

Controversy over the French visa policy relating to Moroccans has moved from social to mass media, condemning Paris's "degrading policy" concerning Moroccans who apply for visas to visit France.

Rai Al-Youm reported that Parliament discussed former ministers, government officials, academics, businesspeople, doctors and engineers who were denied French visas and intended to attend French-backed events in Paris.

Parliament called on the Moroccan government to defend "Moroccan dignity" and asked the people whose visa applications had been denied to file legal complaints to refund their fees.

In September of last year, France imposed restrictions on visa applications from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco as punishment for their rejection to accept the return of their citizens who illegally reside on French soil.

READ: France says Morocco willing to receive deported extremist preacher

France slashed the quota of visa applications for Tunisia by 30 per cent and 50 per cent for both Algeria and Morocco, respectively.

Later, according to Moroccan social media activists and mass media, Paris reduced the restrictions imposed on Algeria and Tunisia, but maintained them for Morocco.

Moroccan sources have stated that French consulates slashed acceptances of visa applications for them by at least 70 per cent.

Although Moroccan King Mohammad II has been in France for two months, Paris has left the sanctions imposed on Algeria and Tunisia and maintained those set on Morocco.

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