The repatriation process, according to the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, is in line with an agreement signed in 1998 between the two countries.
Di Mio disclosed the information after his visit to Morocco, where he met with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in Rabat on November 1.
Following the visit, Di Maio shared his country’s interest in reinforcing diplomatic and business cooperation with Morocco.
He described Morocco as a “central” country for Italy.
“It has long been consolidating its position as a gateway to Africa,” he said.
The Italian official emphasized that his country should take an opportunity to explore new markets in Africa for investment and development.
“Italy has a duty to have a constant dialogue with its North African partners. It is through this dialogue that we deal with our national security, but also with our economy,” he added.
He recalled that there is much to do to boost cooperation with Morocco.
“Today, for example, our market share with Morocco is lower than that of Spain, France, and Germany. It is clear that we must aim to increase it,” the minister added.
Di Miao, however, said that Morocco and Italy are bound by a migration agreement that dates to 1998.
“We managed to repatriate 783 Moroccans,” he said.
Di Maio added that the agreement “still needs to be ratified.”
The minister explained that in the 1998 agreement both countries agreed to instill a “strict line” with regard to undocumented immigration.
In October, the Italian government announced the signing of a new decree regarding asylum seekers.
It will allow security services to reduce the decision-making period for asylum applications from two years to four months.
Di Miao said after the signing of the decree, “I thank (Justice) Minister (Alfonso), Bonafede, Premier (Giuseppe) Conte and (Interior) Minister (Luciana) Lamorgese because this morning we signed a ministerial decree that enables us to bring down the measures to establish if a migrant can stay in Italy from two years to four months.”
Italy listed 13 countries in the repatriation program, including Morocco and Tunisia.
The countries on the list are deemed safe for repatriation, meaning that deported migrants’ lives will not be at risk.