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Morocco refuses the EU’s idea of building asylum centers on its territory, says Nasser Bourita

For Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita Rabat is not interested in building asylum centers on its territory. His rejection was voiced earlier this year by the Kingdom's migration and border surveillance director who sees the EU's plan as a bad idea.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita./Ph. DR
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Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said Rabat is not willing to build asylum centers on its territory as suggests a plan backed by the European Union, reports German daily  Die Welt.

Interviewed by the newspaper, Bourita stated that the European Union is trying to reach an agreement with Morocco and other countries in the region such as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The deal is similar to the one signed by Turkey and is meant to provide «reception centers» for asylum seekers.

However, the country refuses the idea and sees it as a threat to its sovereignty. «Morocco is generally against all kinds of centers. This is part of our migration policy and a national sovereign position», he told Die Welt.

Meanwhile, Nasser Bourita accused Europe of having an unclear strategy towards Morocco. «Are we a real partner or a neighbor that they should be afraid of ?», he wondered.

For Morocco it is a bad idea

Morocco is already doing too much, according to the minister. The country deals with security issues, migration, and the fight against terrorism and is playing a big role in the region, he explained.

For the record, the European Union has been trying for months to create asylum centers outside its borders. These facilities will be available to host asylum seekers, wishing to leave their countries for Europe.

In June, Morocco's migration and border surveillance director Khalid Zerouali was the first to voice the Kingdom’s rejection of the plan. Speaking to Associated Press he stated that building reception facilities in the Kingdom is a bad idea.

Interviewed by the American press agency, 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.

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