Before arranging a flight to return stranded citizens without disclosing details to Moroccan authorities, the Gulf state threatened restrictions on countries who did not repatriate their citizens from the UAE.
Rabat – Israel and the UAE have angered Rabat after scheduling a joint flight to repatriate Israeli and Emarati tourists stranded in Marrakech and Casablanca. The countries failed to disclose all of the flight’s details to Moroccan authorities.
Quoting Israeli Army Radio, the Jerusalem Post reported that Rabat had offered to help Israel to return its stranded nationals home through evacuation flights.
The North African country was surprised to discover that both Israel and the UAE agreed to evacuate their citizens in a joint flight without consulting Morocco.
UAE organized a return flight for its citizens in Morocco, repatriating 180 Emiratis this week. Seventy-four UAE citizens are still stuck in the North African country.
Countries across the globe have arranged to repatriate their citizens in collaboration with Moroccan authorities. Between March 16 and March 22, approximately 50 flights returned thousands of stranded tourists in Morocco to their home countries.
The US, Belgium, UK, and several other countries expressed appreciation over Morocco’s collaborative efforts.
The Moroccan government allowed one more repatriation flight for stranded Americans on April 10. The return was the 10th special flight for Americans leaving Morocco since the North African country imposed a travel suspension on March 15.
In addition to arranging the Israeli-UAE flight without proper authorization, the Gulf country also threatened to impose restrictions on any countries who refuse or are unable to repatriate their citizens amid the COVID-19 crisis. The UAE listed Morocco among these countries.
The number of Moroccans stranded across the world is estimated at 18,000. Morocco’s government pledged to help all of its stranded tourists to get back to their families as soon as possible, and Moroccan diplomatic missions abroad are providing assistance to citizens stuck in foreign countries.
The country expressed that its lockdown and border closures seek to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the lives of its citizens and tourists alike.
Morocco has confirmed 2,251 of COVID-19 cases, and the number of patients continues to increase daily. The country has reported 127 fatalities and 248 recoveries to date.