Morocco coordinated the repatriation of the nationals who had been stuck in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe through operations in Istanbul.
Rabat – Morocco is working to expand the reach of its repatriation operations. Two flights on Saturday returned home 230 Moroccans stranded in Turkey as well as 70 nationals who were stuck in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Ukraine.
The July 4 operation was the first to benefit nationals stranded in Southeast Asia, as well as in Eastern Europe. Morocco coordinated the repatriation of these nationals in Istanbul.
There is no word yet on plans for the continuation of Asian and Eastern European repatriation operations, but Morocco has begun repatriating citizens from other “far” countries, such as Canada. The first repatriation operation to benefit nationals stuck in the North American country occurred on July 5.
Additionally, the government has not yet announced an official start date for operations to return those stuck in the US or Central and South American countries.
Meanwhile, thousands of Moroccans stranded in Turkey have returned home through nine operations since June 16. The Moroccan consul general in Istanbul, M’hamed Ifriquine, said the consulate services supervised last week the repatriation of more than 1,500 citizens stuck in Turkey.
The beneficiaries of the “humanitarian operation” were chosen according to “precise, strict, and transparent criteria and in coordination with the central administration,” Morocco’s state media reported. Ifriquine added that the consulate paid for the accommodation costs of around 3,000 Moroccans in Istanbul and Bursa for more than three months.
The protocol for repatriated Moroccans stipulates that they are tested for COVID-19 and spend nine days in quarantine in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health.
Some 33,000 Moroccans were stranded abroad for more than three months after Morocco closed its borders on March 15 to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Morocco first launched repatriation operations in May to benefit nationals in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, followed by Algeria, mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, and Turkey.
Moroccans have since returned from Canada, Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the UK, the UAE, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia, Mauritania, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal, as well as the four Southeast Asian nations and Ukraine.