NEW PACTS: Spain strikes deals with African countries to help control migration flows

SPAIN has made deals with two African countries to help improve cross border co-operation on irregular migration.

Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said Spain and Ghana had agreed to help each other control migratory flows.

Madrid and Rabat have also struck a deal which will allow Spanish coast guards to dock in Morocco and leave migrants picked up in the Mediterranean there, government sources said.

Grande-Marlaska said the agreement with Ghana came as Spain aims to strike similar deals with other sub-Saharan African countries.

Interior Ministry officials are due to hold meetings with their counterparts from Gambia, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire in the coming months.

Spanish government sources said their agreement with Morocco would allow coast guards to assist the North African country’s navy with migrant rescues.

Spain’s government is aiming to cut the number of irregular migrant arrivals by half after Interior Ministry figures showed almost 64,300 came to the country in 2018, breaking previous records.

It comes as Fabrice Laggeri, director of the EU’s Frontex border agency, said the continent was no longer facing crisis levels of arrivals like those seen in 2015.

“We can see that there is pressure but we no longer have a pressing crisis of irregular migrant arrivals,” Laggeri said.

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Joe Gerrard

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