"the issuance of the visa is a sovereign right of the States"

Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, stressed Tuesday in Rabat during the weekly session of oral questions in the House of Councillors, that Morocco respects the rights of sovereign countries as to whether or not to grant visas.

The Head of Diplomacy of the Kingdom indicated that “Moroccans have reacted and commented on certain visa tightening measures in recent months, in various ways and the expression of their dissatisfaction on social networks bears witness to this. The minister, who declined to comment on trivialities such as ” the visa is a tool of extortion or insult”, pointed out that ” if the issuance of a visa is a sovereign right, then processing applications to grant or request it must be based on mutual respect between countries and their citizens “. He therefore refrained from analyzing all ” sovereign decisions “.

Nasser Bourita explained, in response to a question about ” the difficulty for Moroccans to obtain a Schengen visa “, that ” visa is a sovereign right that must be respected, but we track and record “. He further pointed out that ” if Morocco imposes a visa on citizens of more than 130 countries, de facto the Moroccan passport is subject to entry visas for more than 140 countries “.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs for African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad also recognized ” the hassle of Moroccan citizens, whether they reside in Morocco or abroad, with obtaining visas from a number of European Union countries which have adopted arbitrary conditions such as the imposition of assembly family, or the limitation of the percentages of the number of those authorized to obtain a visa “.

On the other hand, with regard to the question of “improving consular services for Moroccans residing abroad (MRE), Bourita confirmed that ” in accordance with royal instructions, it is going well” in reference to the fact that “the problems of the community in its consular part are always the subject of special royal attention “. In addition to speeches, there are direct, permanent and clear royal instructions to work on improving the services rendered to this category of the Moroccan people “, he said.

He also stressed the need to continue to bring the services offered by the consular services closer to the Moroccan community established abroad, ” We are currently working on a plan to improve the services offered to Moroccans residing abroad (MRE) around four axes: the first is that of strengthening the consular card of the Kingdom. We have launched in the last three years three consulates in Murcia, Villemomble and Toronto “, Nasser Bourita further indicated, indicating that the objective is to reduce the pressure on consular representations by bringing closer the services of the Moroccan community established abroad.

Hence the importance of a second axis, namely that of digitization as a solution for greater proximity with MREs, ” We have worked on several areas relating to the digitization of services provided to Moroccans abroad, in particular the consulat.ma platform, the development of a unified consular guide in 7 languages, which provides information to Moroccans residing abroad. foreigner on the required documents, as well as the establishment of the “Izdiad” service for the transcription of births remotely. To date, 1.3 million birth certificates have been digitized. The day when we can digitize birth certificates, it will make our job much easier.“said the Head of Diplomacy before the Advisers.

As for the marriage and divorce issues raised in some countries, the Minister of Foreign Affairs affirmed that “ the legislative solution is essential, through close coordination with the Ministry of Justice », before listing 4 axes through which his ministry intervenes to improve consular services. Bourita concluded that ” according to the royal speech of August 20, 2022, the year 2023 will be a turning point in the treatment of the issues of the Moroccan community abroad, and a qualitative leap for the issues included in the speech itself “.

In addition, the Minister recalled that ” online appointment booking with consular services is now available in almost all of Europe and North America. The call center, launched 4 years ago, receives between 25,000 and 30,000 requests a day to inform Moroccans before moving to consulates “. Nasser Bourita claimed that the e-visa service, introduced last July, has benefited 70,000 people, noting that “ digitization completes the system put in place with 57 open consulates, in addition to two other representations which will soon be reopened in Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya “.

It should be noted that the oral question session coincided with preparations for a popular and official public reception of the Atlas Lions after their return from Qatar prompted a number of advisers in their interventions to praise and salute warmly the efforts of Moroccan players from the family of the Moroccan community residing in Europe, in achieving the historic feat of reaching the golden square of the 2022 World Cup.

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