Morocco’s new prime minister has embraced an Algerian refugee who had been living in the capital for four years.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his arrival at the presidential palace in the northern Algerian city of Gafsa on Wednesday morning and called him his “sister and friend.”
Hariri, a former military leader who won elections last month to succeed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, said he would welcome “any Algerian who wants to live and work in the country.”
He described the Moroccan government’s policy toward the Algerian asylum seeker as “a mistake.”
“I am going to welcome anyone who wants his or her life and liberty to be protected and protected from exploitation,” Hariri said.
He also said that he will take up the Algerians request to take them to the European Union in Brussels.
“I want to tell them that this is a mistake, it is a crime,” Harir said.
The Moroccan foreign ministry said Hariri’s invitation to accept the Algerans had been approved by the foreign ministry’s legal adviser, who is also the Moroccan ambassador in London.
He is also expected to visit Morocco to meet with Moroccan officials.
The Algerian government welcomed the prime minister’s initiative.
“We are pleased to see that the Moroccan prime minister is opening doors for the refugees,” Algerian President Mohamed ElBaradei said in a statement.
“He wants to build on the promise of the Alger National Liberation Front (ALF) to provide them with a safe and dignified life.”
The French foreign ministry welcomed Hariri to Morocco and said he will visit Paris this month.
Algerian Prime Minister Hariri visits the French Parliament in Paris, France, on March 10, 2020.
(Michel Euler/Associated Press) The United Nations refugee agency says the Algerien government has not provided adequate shelter for the Algeran asylum seekers.
UNHCR spokesman David Anderson said the agency is currently assessing the situation in the camps in Algeria.
“There is a great need to establish shelter for all refugees, including Algerians, and we are doing everything possible to assist in that effort,” Anderson said.
Algeria has had an extremely difficult year for the country and has been on a high alert for possible attacks.
On Monday, gunmen opened fire on an Algerien army barracks in the southern city of Mopti in the eastern part of the country.
Authorities said they killed seven people, including two soldiers.
The government blames Islamist extremists for the attack.
Algerians have said they were also the target of a recent attack on a school in the city of Ouagadougou.
They say they were ambushed by gunmen in a nearby town.
The attack took place a day after President Bouteflamika declared a state of emergency.
In the wake of the attack, Algerian officials announced a nationwide curfew and asked for help from the international community in finding the perpetrators of the shooting.
On Tuesday, police arrested three suspected gunmen in the town of El Ghebir in the central Algerian province of Gharbiya.
They were detained on suspicion of “attempting to overthrow the state and establishing an illegal armed group,” Algerians state-run Algache newspaper reported.