Rabat- Emmanuel Macron is expected in Morocco at the end of summer to discuss EU migration crisis with Moroccan government officials.
The French president will visit Morocco for the second time since his election in May 2017.
In June 2017, Macron chose Morocco as his destination on his first trip to North Africa, emphasizing that the friendship and cooperation between Morocco and France will continue under his presidency.
This time, Macron will come to Morocco in the midst of concerns over the numbers of irregular migrants arriving in France.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), some 119,000 Africans were arrested in 2017 attempting to enter the EU on migrant boats departing from Libya, compared to 23,000 total from both Algeria and Morocco to Spain.
While the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean along eastern routes has decreased, the number crossing the sea from Morocco to Spain has tripled since 2015.
Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans immigrate irregularly to Europe through Morocco annually. Over 1,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean so far this year.
To prevent migration, the European Union announced a €55 million fund to assist Morocco and Tunisia in managing their borders.
Recently, European activists, politicians, and academics accused Morocco of using migrants as political bait to secure deals with European partners instead of restricting flows of irregular migration from its contiguous borders with the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.
However, Moroccan authorities stopped more than 65,000 migration attempts in 2017, up from 32,000 the previous year, according to Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi.