Rabat and Berlin sign declaration of intent on security, migration, deportations

Rabat and Berlin sign declaration of intent on security, migration, deportations

Abdelouafi Laftit, the Moroccan Minister of the Interior, and Nancy Faeser, the Minister of the Interior and Territory of the Federal Republic of Germany signed on Monday the declaration of intent to enhance cooperation in the field of security, migration, and deportations, during a meeting held in Rabat.

The Minister of the Interior and Territory of the Federal Republic advocated for more cooperation in Morocco on the aforementioned issues.

Faeser emphasized the “renewal and deepening of cooperation” in the security sector with Morocco. The declaration also highlighted potential areas of collaboration in cybersecurity, digitalization, and sport.

As to migration, the Federal Minister of Interior and Territory expressed her desire to “achieve cooperation on an equal footing,” stressing the importance of stopping smugglers to mitigate irregular migration, according to Microsoft Start.

During her two-day official visit to Morocco, Faeser is accompanied by Joachim Stamp, who has been appointed as the special representative for conducting migration agreements and engaging in confidential discussions with several countries.

These agreements aim to simplify the process of issuing work visas and strengthen regular migration, from the German government’s perspective.

In return, the countries of origin, such as Morocco, are expected to improve their cooperation in repatriation efforts by issuing or recognizing papers for example.

Germen-affiliated media reported that 3,660 Moroccans residing in Germany are required to leave the country, a notable majority of 2,762 individuals are temporarily tolerated for various reasons.

This leaves a relatively smaller number of 898 Moroccan citizens feasible for deportation. These figures were provided by the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Last year, Germany deported a total of 71 Moroccan citizens from Germany, 63 in the first half of 2023, highlighted Stern.

Despite the repatriation agreement between Germany and Morocco existing for almost 25 years, the federal government complained about the rarity of deportation.

“The current agreement does not work,” Stern said, claiming that “Morocco has no interest so far.”

Morocco has little interest in returning compatriots who have been required to flee the country. They linked this to Morocco’s firm stance against collective deportations by charter flights, accepting only individual returns by scheduled flight.

“This is a difficult business for the federal police, who accompany deportations – especially if those affected physically defend themselves, which is why returns are canceled in individual cases,” according to German-affiliated media.

A passage from the declaration of intent signed in Rabat emphasized that employees from both countries involved in the agreed cooperation should uphold principles of respecting “political independence and national sovereignty and not interfere in internal affairs,” according to Migazin.

Migazin said that this passage from the Declaration of Intent showed where the Moroccans’ sensitivities lay.

Top officials from the Ministries of Interior in Morocco and Germany met to discuss the fight against terrorism, extremism, and illegal immigration. The focus of the meeting was on the need for proactive prevention to address these threats effectively.

As part of the government’s plan to manage borders and address immigration challenges, Germany has been negotiating immigration agreements with several African countries, including Morocco. This is in exchange for attracting skilled labor from these countries, which the majority of Germans support.

Classifying Morocco as a “safe country of origin” would limit Moroccan citizens’ ability to seek asylum in Germany, as safe countries of origin are those with a stable democratic system and a lack of persecution.

Both countries have been working together to combat terrorism, illegal immigration, border security, and the exchange of information and expertise to strengthen security cooperation. They agreed last October to improve operational cooperation in combating terrorism, extremism, cross-border crime, and other security threats affecting their citizens.

On Tuesday, Germany successfully disrupted a terrorist plot with the assistance of Moroccan security services, apprehending a German-Egyptian national suspected of planning a series of attacks, including a truck bomb attack.

Moroccan security and intelligence services facilitated this collaboration by quickly relaying the identity and profile of the alleged German-Egyptian terrorist suspect.

Morocco provided German authorities with necessary personal information, photographs, and contact details, which helped German police apprehend the suspect in Essen.


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