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The number of failed attempts of illegal emigration has more than doubled since 2016

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The number of failed attempts to emigrate illegally from Morocco has more than doubled, increasing from an average of 32,000 each year between 2003 and 2015 to about 65,000 since 2016, said Khalid Zerouali, wali, director of Immigration and Border Surveillance.

The reorientation of migrant flows to Morocco is mainly explained by the strengthening of the factors of attraction in Europe recorded in the wake of the waves of migrants and refugees that this continent has experienced, Zerouali said in an interview published by the international weekly Jeune Afrique in its last issue.

Asked about Moroccan-Spanish cooperation on immigration, he pointed out that the regular meetings of the permanent migration group, created in 2003, had enabled the two countries to harmonize their analytical matrices and coordinate their actions, not only in the fight against illegal migration but also in promoting the legal channels for regular migration.

Regarding the European Union (EU), Zerouali stressed that the meetings of the minister of the Interior with the European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs in recent months have ushered in a new era of renewed cooperation between Morocco and the EU especially in the field of border controls.

In response to a question on the Rabat Process launched by Morocco in 2006, the wali, director of Immigration and Border Surveillance, said that the Process had opened a new chapter by bringing together countries of origin, transit and destination, noting that it had become the benchmark for new regional and international initiatives.

On the issue of opening detention centers for migrants intercepted at sea outside European borders, Zerouali noted that this solution has already shown its limits in Europe.

«So we are not going to transpose a measure that is doomed to failure. Especially since in the end this solution will only move a problem without solving it in substance», he said in response to a question on Rabat's rejection of the idea of such centers.

«This refusal is also consistent with our acceptance of the notion of shared responsibility», he pointed out.

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