Rabat – Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and French President Emmanuel Macron have pledged more support and cooperation with migrants’ countries of origin, transit, and destination, “especially Morocco,” to tackle migration issues.
Sanchez received Macron yesterday at his residence in Madrid, where they discussed several issues including European Union reform, trade, and migration.
The European leaders also co-chaired a press conference where they agreed to cooperate with countries involved in migration.
The countries will provide support through agencies such as the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the European Neighborhood Instrument, the European Development Fund, and the Alliance for Sahel.
Spain and France also issued a joint statement, explaining the dimensions and challenges countries face due to migration.
According to the European countries, migration is “a global challenge that requires European responses.” Those responses, they said, should be based on “solidarity and respect for human rights” and aimed at providing “an effective response to the arrival of refugees and migrants.”
The decision of both European countries came after more than 700 sub-Saharan migrants stormed the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on Thursday morning, July 26.
Dozens of the migrants were injured during the incursion.
The migration challenge, according to the two cabinets, must be approached from a humanitarian dimension and not only following a security and border control approach.
In the joint statement, Spain and France also expressed their determination to organize a regional meeting of European and African ministers concerned with migration affairs, with the aim of looking into migration flows from African countries and exploring joint initiatives.
According to Infomigrants, the number of migrants arriving in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta by sea had quadrupled in the first four months of 2018.
Five boats, carrying 233 migrants arrived in the first months of 2018, compared to only 51 migrant arrivals by sea in the same period of 2017.
Thousands of migrants take the risky sea route to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. The attempt claims the lives of thousands of migrants every year.
Throughout the years, Morocco has long promised to tackle the issue of migration; King Mohammed VI has invited African leaders many times to increase their efforts to manage the issue.
According to Morocco’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Omar Hilale, the North African country has called world leaders to a “realism and global vision” to face the issue.
Morocco will also host an international conference to sign the Global Pact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) on December 10-11 in Marrakech.