Rabat – Morocco announced it will work with Sweden to repatriate Moroccan minors that have sought asylum in the Scandinavian country.
“We will work together for a better return of Moroccan nationals” who are underage and alone in Sweden, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman and the President of the House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi El Alami, announced on Tuesday in Stockholm, according to AFP.
The Swedish government, on the other side, said it would create a “working committee to accelerate the identification of children” of Moroccan origin seeking asylum Sweden, the spokesman of the Swedish Minister, Victor Haju said.
Official figures from the Migration Board show 403 unaccompanied Moroccan minors seeking asylum in Sweden, for a total of 35,369 minors.
According to the same source, in 2015, only 4 percent of Moroccans seeking asylum in Sweden were accepted into the country.
This move comes just a week after Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström officially announced that her country has no intention to recognize “Western Sahara” as a State.
“The government does not intend to recognize the Western Sahara and it is position consistent with the assessment of previous governments in this regard,” she said according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
Sweden declared that its decision to reject recognition of the self-proclaimed Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) was in part because “Morocco is an influential country in the Arab world” and Sweden wants to “see a rebound in economic relations and trade” with Morocco.
However, Swedish Minister spokesman Harju, told AFP that Sweden’s position on the Sahara issue “had nothing to do” with the new decision to help repatriate minor Moroccan nationals.