In the midst of diplomatic tensions, France is halving the number of visas it issues to Algeria and Morocco.
Due to a conflict between the countries, France will decrease the number of visas provided to persons from North Africa, especially Algeria and Morocco, as the governments refuse to take back migrants expelled from France.
According to government officials, the French government wants to limit the number of visas awarded to Algerians and Moroccans by half in a few weeks, and Tunisians by 30%.
The African countries have had different reactions to the decision. The decision was blasted by Morocco’s foreign minister as “unjustified,” but Tunisia seemed more open to finding a solution.
The office of Tunisian President Kais Saeid stated, “We are among countries that are cooperative in this domain, and we have excellent connections with France.”
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The decision, announced on Tuesday, comes amid calls from far-right parties for President Emmanuel Macron to enact tighter immigration policies, escalating tensions between France and its North African neighbors.
All three countries were once part of France’s colonial empire, and many migrants and other visitors from North Africa have family or other connections in France.
France took action, according to France’s spokesperson Gabriel Attal, since Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia recently refused to issue consular documentation for their citizens ejected from France after entering the country illegally. Virus travel restrictions have made such operations more difficult.
France, according to a top source in the French presidency, wants North African countries to return persons who have been identified for extremism, and expressed hope that a solution will be found quickly.
Since passing a stricter immigration law in 2018, France has been seeking to establish a diplomatic settlement, according to Attal. According to Europe-1, between January and July, French legal authorities ordered 7,731 Algerians to leave French territory because they lacked residency authorization, but just 22 did so because many of them lacked the appropriate Algerian paperwork.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said his country has provided 400 consular passports to Moroccans deported from France, but the number is limited since many of them refused to do a virus test, which is required for re-entry into Morocco.
That is “France’s problem, which it must address,” according to Bourita. This is a condensed version of the information.