By Karima Rhanem | Morocco TIMES 3/9/2006 | 3:35 pm
Moroccan Premier Driss Jettou announced on Wednesday in Brussels that the Euro-African Conference on Immigration will be held on July 10-11 in Morocco. The conference, initiated by Morocco and Spain with the support of France, is organised in collaboration with the European Commission.
The Moroccan Premier told the press, during a meeting with president of the European Union, José Manuel Barroso, that the meeting will focus on cooperation between the European Union and African countries, MAP news agency reported.
Jettou recalled that Morocco is experienced in the field of cooperation, indicating that the Kingdom receives about 7,000 African students, who obtained scholarships to study in Moroccan universities and vocational training centers. He added that the Moroccan-African cooperation includes other different fields, mainly in agriculture, and micro credits.
“If we could have a trio partnership between Europe, Morocco and the African countries, we would do more in this regard, and that's what we are longing for during the conference,” said Jettou.
Evoking the partnership with the European Union regarding the readmission of non-documented people living in Europe, the Moroccan Premier expressed the determination of the two parties to sign an agreement to settle the issue.
“There is no problem concerning the readmission of the non-documented Moroccans living in Europe, nor that of the foreigners residing in Morocco,” said the Prime Minister, underling that the technical teams are negotiating and studying “Cotonou Accord”, which will allow the European Union a direct readmission towards African countries.
In turn, José Manuel Barroso underlined the importance of the management of immigration flow, a field to which the EU and the member states give a special attention.
Barroso also expressed the EU's will to finalize the agreement on immigration within a spirit of partnership with neighboring countries.
“We are aware that it is a difficult problem, because it doesn't affect only one country; there are migratory flows which come from other countries. This is complicated. I have asked the Moroccan Premier about his personal commitment, and his complete attention, because if we find a solution, this will help to boost our relations even further,” Barroso declared.
During his brief visit to Brussels, the Prime Minister, who was accompanied by the Moroccan Ambassador to the UE, Menouar Alem, also held meetings with the European Commissioner to Foreign Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and Elmar Brok, president the European Commission in charge of foreign relations with the parliament.
Before heading for Brussels, Moroccan Prime Minister Driss Jettou voiced satisfaction over the results of the meetings he had had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, foreign and cooperation minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and development minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul.
In this respect, Jettou and Steinmeier agreed to organize a day of investment opportunities in Morocco in the second half of the year, and to promote exchanges between the two countries.
Jettou's meetings also touched on regional and international issues, notably the latest developments in the Middle East, kidnapping of Moroccan and German nationals in Iraq and immigration.
The Prime minister also started on Wednesday a visit to Portugal to attend on Thursday the investiture ceremony of President Anibal Cavaco Silva.