Morocco agrees on cooperation with Germany to speed up deportations

Morocco assured Germany on Monday that it will take back nationals who have been unsuccessful in applying to stay there, as interior ministers from the two countries met to discuss measures to streamline deportations.

The measures will focus on Moroccan migrants who gave false nationalities in a bid to pass as Syrians during the latest influx of arrivals to Europe, Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad said after meeting in Morocco with his German counterpart, Thomas de Maiziere.

Authorities should use fingerprint data to verify the identities of migrants, de Maiziere said.

Hassad said his government would process any outstanding requests to repatriate unsuccessful asylum seekers in Germany within the next 45 days, as requested by the German minister.

Last year, around 10,000 Moroccan nationals came to Germany as asylum seekers, according to the Ministry for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Migrants from North African countries have a 3.7-per-cent chance of being allowed to stay.

The interior ministers also made progress Monday on finalizing a security pact between the countries. De Maiziere said a few technical details were still to be clarified, after which the allies would be ready to sign.

Morocco was the first step in de Maiziere's three-day tour of the Maghreb, with Algeria and Tunisia next on his itinerary.

Despite readmission agreements between Germany and these countries, the deportation process can be problematic because North African migrants often do not have valid passports.

Asylum bids filed by North African people have taken priority following a spate of thefts and sex attacks in the German city of Cologne on New Year's Eve. Many of the perpetrators were North African and Germany introduced tough legislation on criminal migrants as a result.

German Parliament recently voted to list Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco as so-called "countries of safe origin."

Last update: Mon, 29/02/2016 - 13:33
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