Morocco denies dual nationality claim

14th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 June 2005, AMSTERDAM — Morocco has rejected a suggestion that it is open to discussions with the Netherlands about scrapping the right to dual nationality for third-generation Moroccans in the Netherlands.

14 June 2005

AMSTERDAM — Morocco has rejected a suggestion that it is open to discussions with the Netherlands about scrapping the right to dual nationality for third-generation Moroccans in the Netherlands.

The Moroccan Ministry of Information made Rabat's position clear after Dutch Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk claimed that Morocco had reacted positively to Dutch pressure on the dual nationality issue.

Verdonk, who is on an official visit to Morocco, has indicated she wants clarification on the misunderstanding.

The Moroccan government has resisted previous Dutch attempts to raise the issue but Verdonk said on Tuesday morning that it has now adopted an "open attitude."

She said discussed the dual nationality issue with the official representative of Moroccan Justice Minister Mohamed Bouzoubaa, who is currently in hospital.

"It is a victory that that scrapping of dual nationality is now on our mutual agendas. We are going to discuss how we can move this issue forward," Verdonk said.

Verdonk said it is already possible for a Moroccan who becomes a Dutch citizen to abandon their Moroccan nationality by decree but this is never used.

The Dutch government wants to "prevent as far as possible" that third-generation immigrants who have been born in the Netherlands retain two passports.

This applies to all immigrants and not just Moroccans, though the latter is known for maintaining their Moroccan passports even after generations in the Netherlands.

Preventing dual nationality is a key part of Verdonk's drive to compel immigrants to the Netherlands to integrate into Dutch society.   

The thinking behind discouraging this is that choosing the Dutch nationality strengthens the newcomer's link to the Netherlands.

It applies to newcomers who take Dutch nationality and not expats who reside in the Netherlands for either the medium or long-term but do not seek naturalisation.

Verdonk said she spoke to several ministers and "both sides acknowledged the problem with 'Moroccan problem youth' in the Netherlands. But we also talked about young Moroccans who are doing well," she said.

She also held discussions with Minister Nouzha Chekrouni, who is responsible for Moroccans abroad, about setting up a joint working group. Its mission will be to develop policies to get wayward Moroccan immigrants to reconnect with the local society in which they live.

Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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