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Morocco, France sign declaration of intent on treatment of unaccompanied minors

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Morocco and France signed, Monday in Rabat, a Declaration of Intent in the area of justice relating to unaccompanied minors.

Initialed by the Minister of Justice, Mohamed Benabdelkader, and his French counterpart, Eric Dupond-Moretti, who is on a visit to the Kingdom, this Declaration of Intent concerns the dissemination of a procedural outline which details the process of management of the situation of unaccompanied minors, thus enabling French juvenile magistrates to have essential information to take the most appropriated measures to the interests of the concerned children.

It will also ease the exchange of information and will help put in place concrete tools capable of solving a problem common to the two countries, said Dupond-Moretti, noting that the protection of minors is a priority for both Morocco and France.

The French official thanked, in this regard, the Moroccan authorities «for the precious help they have given us, particularly for the identification of unaccompanied minors, because without identification, no legal action can be possible».

Moroccan cooperation, he stressed, enabled the French authorities to observe that «many of those who declared themselves to be minors were in fact of legal age and that Moroccan nationals, contrary to what is sometimes wrongly claimed, were not not the most numerous ones».

Dupond-Moretti stressed that his visit to Morocco, which is his first official international trip since his appointment in this post, is of particular importance for him in view of the very close relations and deep ties between the two countries, underlining the «long-standing exceptional partnership» between the two judicial authorities.

This partnership, he underlined, is strengthened by regular exchanges in terms of training of magistrates and staff of the registries and modernization of justice, as well as by the «particularly effective and diligent treatment of the Moroccan authorities of our requests regarding mutual criminal assistance which represents for us the most important flow outside the EU».

For his part, Benabdelkader welcomed the relations of cooperation between the judicial authorities of the two countries, adding that this meeting was an opportunity for both sides to review the various aspects of Moroccan-French cooperation in the field of justice and to establish «a positive, satisfactory and promising assessment».

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