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EU/AFRICA: CONFERENCE ON MIGRATION TO BE STAGED IN EARLY 2006.

These countries "jealously guard their independence" and are not well disposed towards EU interference in their affairs, according to the Commissioner, who argues that human rights condemnation simply risks rendering these countries deaf to the EU's interests. Following the drama of Ceuta and Melilla and the discovery of sub-Saharan migrants cast back into the Moroccan desert, the EU was accused of closing its eyes to the repressive methods employed by southern Mediterranean states. Franco Frattini responds that respect for human dignity remains a priority for the EU. He has pledged to send teams to these countries to directly monitor the human rights situation and report regularly to the Council. "My preferred method is consultation as the approach that yields results", he concluded.

In this context, he would like to see the EU sign more readmission agreements with source and transit countries. However, the EU will need to offer political and financial incentives in exchange if it hopes to secure such agreements. The EU is currently negotiating a readmission agreement with Morocco which has notably been stalling on the issue of the repatriation of immigrants transiting through the country to reach European Union territory.

A Commission source suggests problems are also being posed by Algeria which has accused Morocco or ejecting illegal immigrant into the country. Franco Frattini met Algeria's Ambassador to the EU on November 3 in an attempt to forge ahead on this dossier. Cooperation between the EU and Libya is by contrast highlighted as a model by Franco Frattini, who is confident that the joint action plan launched in June will enter into force at the beginning of 2006. The source said its entry into force will, however, depend on the fate of Bulgarian nurses condemned to death in Libya, with a ruling on appeal expected on November 15.

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Nov 5, 2005
Words:301
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