Spain, France sign deal to stop illegal migration

10th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 November 2005, PARIS — French president Jacques Chirac and Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero agreed to boost European development aid to North Africa to stem illegal immigration.

10 November 2005

PARIS — French president Jacques Chirac and Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero agreed to boost European development aid to North Africa to stem illegal immigration.

Chirac and Rodriguez Zapatero spoke to reporters after chairing a bilateral summit where the two nations also agreed to create a security council that will bring together their respective foreign and defense ministers once a year to foster military cooperation.

The leaders also signed pacts on scientific research and cultural affairs, but were unable to conclude an accord on linking the electrical grids of France and Spain.

Yet the dominant theme of the discussions was immigration.

That subject has taken on particular relevance over the past two weeks with the wave of violent disturbances mounted in France by the French-born offspring of Arab and African immigrants.

Recent months also have seen a surge in illegal African immigration to Spain, and due to the fact that no immigration or customs controls exist along borders inside the European Union, immigrants to one country can, and often do, travel to another.

At their post-summit press conference, both Chirac and Zapatero cited the necessity of working closely with Morocco and Algeria to enhance security along Europe's southern borders.

The French president also echoed Zapatero's assertion that the long-term solution to the problem of illegal immigration lies not in strengthening barriers, but in promoting economic growth and job creation in the migrants's homelands.

Along those lines, the two leaders joined in calling for a tripling of total international assistance to poor countries and in demanding that the EU favor North African nations with the lion's share of development aid.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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