Spain appeals to Africa to help stem migrant tide

17th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 May 2006, BERLIN — Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos appealed for help from African states to deal with its growing problem of illegal immigration.

17 May 2006

BERLIN — Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos appealed for help from African states to deal with its growing problem of illegal immigration.

Moratinos made the call after more than 1,000 illegal immigrants arrived in the Canary Islands since Friday from Western Africa.

He said: "The challenge is of such complexity that we need the assistance and commitment of everyone.

"Spain alone will not be able to resolve the great challenges of sub-Saharan migration."

Moratinos made the comments after meeting with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the German capital.

He talked about Plan Africa, a package of measures to fight illegal immigration that the Spanish government is expected to approve on Friday.

The foreign minister said the Spanish initiative, unlike a plan on Africa recently approved by the Council of Europe, had more of a national focus.

Moratinos said Plan Africa included measures dealing with cooperation with countries in Europe and Africa "because this problem requires the mobilization of everyone".

He said illegal immigration was the "joint responsibility of many."

Illegal immigration will be one of the issues addressed next week in Vienna at the special meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

The Spanish government said on Monday it planned to expand air and sea patrols to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, and to launch a "diplomatic offensive" in the African countries where the majority of the migrants come from.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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