MARRAKECH– There is no alternative to dialogue for the Euro-African partnership on migration and development, says Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita.

Dialogue is the only way to support the new mobility standards, making the migrant a central player in the Euro-African space, Bourita said at the opening of the 5th Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development here Wednesday.

The renewed partnership which Morocco calls for apprehends addresses as an element of complementarity, which opens perspectives for the two continents, he pointed out, noting that migration is not inevitable, but a global issue, a social and structural fact.

“Migrations are here to stay. They will continue to increase, at worst, irregularly, at best, in a safe, orderly and regular manner, the minister pointed out.

Indeed, the Euro-African dialogue on migration must be the subject of a renewed partnership which allows Europeans and Africans to participate, on an equal footing, in the joint definition of the terms of co-operation, he added, noting that the partnership must be based on intra-continental and inter-continental solidarity.

Bourita shed light on Morocco’s a national migration and asylum strategy, which promotes the sustainable integration of migrants, adding that this policy has enabled the organization of two regularization operations, the last of which was marked by the submission of 28,400 applications, of which 95 per cent consisted of African nationals.

The minister said Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, as the current Chair of the African Union, had proposed, on the issue of migration, at the 30th AU Summit an African Agenda on Migration, which represents the culmination of an approach that considers migration as a lever for co-development.

The Agenda recommends the setting up of an African Migration Observatory, in order to develop observation and the exchange of information between African countries and promote controlled management of migration flows, Bourita added.

The 5th Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development opened here Wednesday with the participation of ministers from more than 50 countries. It is aimed at tackling questions arising from migration issues and rovides a framework for consultation and co-ordination; contributes to meeting the challenges posed by migration; and encourages opportunities for exchange and development.