MFA Nasser Bourita takes part in a plenary session devoted to oral questions in the House of Representatives

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M. Nasser Bourita
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, took part on May 30, 2022, in a plenary session devoted to oral questions in the House of Representatives.

Responding to a question on the preparations for the operation Marhaba 2022 and the improvement of consular services and their rapprochement with Moroccans around the world, MFA Bourita stressed that all the actors concerned are mobilized in order to facilitate administrative procedures at transit points and improve services on board ships and planes as well as at the level of the roads used by the Moroccan community abroad, adding that the Marhaba Operation is a model of good cooperation between Morocco and Spain.

"This operation testifies to the unwavering attachment of Moroccans living abroad to their Homeland, because it allows nearly three million Moroccan nationals to return to the country each year to visit their relatives", he underlined.

The Marhaba Operation, he added, constitutes a unique logistical, organizational and security challenge at the level of Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean, noting that this is also a peak period for consular work which requires strengthening the human, material and organizational resources of the Kingdom's consular network.

The Marhaba Operation also represents an important economic challenge given its contribution to the promotion of the tourism and hotel sectors and to the economic fabric in general, not only in Morocco, but also in all transit countries, noted the Minister.

In this regard, MFA Bourita pointed out that the 2022 Marhaba Operation takes place in a particular context, given that it is the first of its kind to be conducted after the significant improvement in the health situation linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, and after two years of limited transit due to pandemic-related restrictive measures.

This year's Operation also coincides with the implementation of the roadmap announced in the Moroccan-Spanish Joint Declaration following talks between His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the President of the Spanish Government on April 07, 2022, and which opened a new stage in the Moroccan-Spanish partnership, while emphasizing the resumption of maritime links for travelers and the launch of joint preparations for the Marhaba Operation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad, Nasser MFA Bourita, stressed Monday in Rabat that his department is committed, alongside the authorities, government stakeholders and other parties, to meet the conditions necessary for the success of the operation of receiving Moroccan expatriates Marhaba 2022.

Speaking at the weekly session of oral questions at the House of Representatives, MFA Bourita said the operation is being supervised in an intensified manner throughout the week, on arrival and return, with an average of 35,000 people and 4,500 vehicles per day.

This number reaches up to 66,000 people per week during the high season, which requires the intervention of many stakeholders, the Minister said in response to a question on the preparations for the operation Marhaba.

Regarding the measures on which his department is working with other stakeholders, MFA Bourita said they are divided into five axes ranging from improving consular services to communication and administrative support during stay in Morocco.

The first axis concerns the improvement of consular services to accompany the operation Marhaba 2022, through the establishment of a central monitoring unit at the ministry to oversee the progress of the transit operation in coordination with the authorities of host countries and the competent Moroccan authorities within the National Committee.

This axis provides for the establishment of mobile consulates in the ports of transit throughout the operation to provide administrative services and guidance and assistance. It also aims to strengthen the consular centers, especially in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, by providing them with human and material resources, MFA Bourita explained.

Regarding the second axis relating to fluid mobility, MFA Bourita mentioned the adoption of a sea transport plan mobilizing 32 ships on all routes connecting Moroccan ports to their counterparts in Spain, France and Italy, with a weekly capacity of about 478,000 passengers and 123,000 cars.

On air transport axis, the Minister noted that the offer has been beefed up with an increase in the number of flights on very busy lines and the opening of new exceptional lines connecting the cities of the Kingdom and several countries of residence. Land transport too has been strengthened as new companies have been authorized to operate buses to carry Moroccan expatriates in Europe.

Pertaining to strengthening infrastructure, logistics and services, MFA Bourita said that an amount of 200 million dirhams has been allocated to the development, management and upgrading of ports, including 157 million dirhams for the port of Tangier Med.

He also noted that the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity has developed, on royal instructions, a special plan under which twenty reception centers have been upgraded, including 14 at the domestic level and 6 abroad.

On the fourth axis relating to safety and security, MFA Bourita noted that adequate human resources have been provided to support the transit operation during summer by mobilizing the required number of customs, gendarmerie and auxiliary forces officers and strengthening monitoring mechanisms.

Concerning health security, the Minister said that the relevant authorities have developed a simple and flexible health protocol consisting of presenting a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test conducted 72 hours before the date of travel.

Regarding the fifth axis on communication and administrative support during stay in Morocco, the Minister announced the launch of the window dedicated to Moroccans abroad in public administrations and institutions and at the level of local authorities.

A diversified cultural program will be developed in Morocco for the benefit of Moroccans in the world by the various stakeholders, he said.

MFA Bourita stressed that all measures and procedures taken by the Ministry, alongside the government departments, national institutions and all stakeholders, are in line with the vision and Royal guidelines to improve the services provided to the Moroccan community living abroad.

On this occasion, the Minister called for stepping up efforts to enhance this unique experience so that it can live up to the expectations of HM King Mohammed VI and contribute to strengthening the ties of the Moroccan expatriates, all generations included, with the motherland.

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