Paris decided to tighten the conditions for granting visas to citizens of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in response to the "refusal" of the three countries to issue the necessary consular permits to return immigrants from their citizens, government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced on Tuesday.
"It is a radical and unprecedented decision, but it was necessary because these countries do not accept the return of nationals we do not want and we cannot keep in France," he said in statements on Europe 1 radio.
Yesterday evening, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita considered the French decision to tighten visa procedures for citizens of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia as unjustified and does not reflect the extent of cooperation on the irregular migration file.
Bourita said during a press conference in Rabat: "His country has taken note of the French decision, and that it will follow up closely with the French authorities."
The minister explained that the consular services of Morocco in France granted, during the last eight months only, approximately (400) transit permits to persons who were in an illegal situation.
The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs stated, "What hinders the return of refugees is the difference in the obligation to conduct an examination (Corona), as Morocco does not allow those who do not undergo the examination to enter its territory, on the other hand, the examination is not mandatory in France, so people refuse to conduct it."
He continued, "As much as Morocco considers the decision on travel visas a French sovereign decision, the more it considers its justifications inappropriate," stressing that the Kingdom will follow up the matter closely with the French authorities.
Gabriel Attal, a spokesman for the French government, announced that his country's decision to tighten visa requirements for citizens of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia is unprecedented, but necessary.