European Union officials have accused Morocco of endangering the lives of migrant children in an attempt to exert political pressure on Spain after 1,200 unaccompanied minors entered Ceuta last month.
The children were among the 8,000 people who tried to enter EU territory where they could apply for asylum. Morocco has since taken back most of the migrants.
Lawmakers have said they reject “Morocco’s use of border control and migration, and unaccompanied minors in particular, as political pressure” against an EU country. They were outraged that children and families were “clearly putting their lives and safety in danger”.
The EU urged Spain and Morocco to work together to expel children and families in accordance with national and international law.
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The influx of migrants came after Spain agreed to provide medical treatment to the Sahrawi leader leading the struggle for an independent Western Sahara, which was annexed by Morocco in the 1970s. Rabat reacts furiously and recalled its ambassador to Madrid.
The Associated Press and other media have witnessed several incidents in which Spanish authorities in Ceuta returned large numbers of migrants who returned to Morocco, including many children. Human rights organizations claim these actions are illegal.
The resolution suggested that the Moroccan authorities were complicit in the transport of minors. He said that “most of the children have been made to believe that star footballers are playing a game with free entry in the city of Ceuta and that they are on a school excursion.”
No evidence was provided by parliament. AP has not been able to independently verify whether this is true and Moroccan authorities have repeatedly denied the allegations.
EU lawmakers have also expressed regret over the damage to relations with a close neighbor who has a good track record of cooperating with the 27-country bloc on trade, counterterrorism and drug trafficking.
In the days leading up to the resolution’s adoption, Moroccan officials expressed fears that its bilateral issue with Spain could take on a broader European dimension and urged lawmakers to tone down their criticism.
Chaoui Belassal, head of the EU-Morocco Joint Parliamentary Committee, said this week that “Morocco is fulfilling its commitments” to the bloc, which provides significant development and migration assistance to the country.
He underlined the “great efforts made by Morocco with regard to all questions relating to its relations with the European Union, including immigration, the fight against extremism, terrorism (and) money laundering. ‘silver”.