Europe is exaggerating severity of migration crisis, says foreign minister.
Morocco’s foreign minister threw cold water on an EU plan to build offshore centers to process migrants in North Africa, saying claims of a migration “crisis” are overblown.
“Morocco is generally opposed to all kinds of centers,” Nasser Bourita told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview published Wednesday. “This is part of our migration policy and a national sovereign position.”
It would be “too easy to claim this is a Moroccan responsibility,” he said, adding that the policy is counterproductive and claiming financial help from the EU would not change his country’s position.
European leaders remain deeply divided about how to manage migration. An EU proposal — agreed at a June summit in Brussels — to deepen cooperation with African countries and explore building processing centers in North Africa to deal with asylum applications was not met with enthusiasm from governments in the region.
Last month, the EU launched formal talks with Egypt over how Cairo can help curb migration from the region in exchange for financial support.
Bourita blamed political divisions within the EU for blowing the migration problem out of proportion and said Europe has to make up its mind about its southern neighbor: “Are we real partners, or just a neighbor you’re afraid of?”