Morocco’s border surveillance chief says building migration centers in the Kingdom is a bad idea

Morocco must think of ways to prevent migrants from entering and not keep them from leaving, said the Kingdom’s migration and border surveillance director Khalid Zerouali. The official believes that building migrant detention facilities in Morocco is a bad idea.

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For Morocco's migration and border surveillance director, building migrant detention facilities in the Kingdom is a bad idea, reports the Associated Press on Thursday.

Interviewed by the American press agency, Khalid Zerouali indicated that Morocco is «not interested in hosting» migrants who «would have their eligibility for asylum in Europe reviewed».

«That’s not a solution», Zerouali argued, referring to «regional disembarkation platforms» in Africa, as suggested by the European Union leaders. According to him, these centers won’t stop migrants from entering Morocco, insisting that EU financial aid to strengthen border security would be more efficient for the country.

«Seeing what's happening in Libya and Africa, you have push factors in Africa and pull factors in Europe (…) Today, Morocco is under a lot of pressure», he told the same source.

Prevent migrants from entering

For the border chief, Morocco should focus more on preventing migrants from entering instead of keeping them from leaving. He insisted that Morocco needs the help of Europe after it has been serving for years as its immigration «gatekeeper».

«We are a strategic partner to Europe ... We think that what is happening today in the region, Morocco needs support so that we can cope with the increasing pressure», Zerouali said.

For the record, Morocco turned down on Thursday, 28th of June, the Council of Europe’s wish to build migrant detention facilities on its soil.

«Morocco rejects and has always rejected these kinds of methods for managing the issue of migration flows», said Moroccan Foreign minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat during a meeting he held yesterday with his Spanish counterpart Josep Borrel.

For the record, the Council of Europe has brought back a project for setting up migrant detention facilities in North Africa. Germany, and Italy joined recently by Hungary had defended the proposal but failed to convince other European Union countries to adopt it.

Currently, the project has been brought to the table by European countries trying to find a solution for the migration crisis.

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