Spain’s foreign minister has flown to Morocco for talks with government officials on how to deal with the huge numbers of people trying to get into its North African enclaves.
It comes as Rabat began flying the first of several planes full of illegal West African migrants to Senegal and Mali. They have accused Morocco’s security forces of dumping them near the Algerian border after they tried to enter or were expelled from the Spanish enclaves.
Spain has faced heavy criticism from human rights groups for ejecting the migrants from Ceuta and Melilla. Miguel Angel Moratinos said immigration would be top of the list of subjects the two governments had to discuss.
In recent weeks hundreds of Africans have stormed the two outposts – the only European Union territories on the continent. A delegation of MEPs has visited Melilla to see how immigrants are being treated. Vice president of the European Parliament Sylvia Kausman said the EU needed to rethink its immigration policies.
At least 11 West African have died trying to reach Ceuta and Melilla in recent weeks but even those who managed to make it past the high razor wire fences face an uncertain future.