Morocco, Austria Committed to Further Strengthen Cooperation on Security, Migration

Morocco and Austria stressed, Tuesday in Rabat, their mutual commitment to further strengthen dialogue and cooperation in the area of security and migration, recalling the excellent ties between the two countries in this field. In an annex on cooperation in the area of security and migration of the Joint Declaration, adopted at the end of the meeting between the Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, and the Federal Chancellor of Austria, Karl Nehammer, the two parties particularly emphasized the continuation of their long standing cooperation between the Moroccan Directorate General for Public Security (DGSN), the Moroccan Gendarmerie Royale and the Austrian Ministry of Interior in the in the area of police dogs and the various training activities in this regard. They further discussed possibilities for closer cooperation in the field of internal security and law enforcement especially in the areas of fighting organized crime, sexual exploitation of children, cybercrime, money laundering, fraud and economic crime, corruption, forgery and trafficking of documents as well as terrorism. The two parties, which welcomed the joint progress achieved in the field of migration and return as well as all political and technical cooperation in this area, committed to stemming illegal departures from Morocco, including the abuse of visa free travel, according to the annex to the Joint Declaration. Fully committed to continue their common efforts, both sides will intensify the joint practical cooperation in the area of return and readmission, with the ambition to further improve their effectiveness. To achieve this objective, the two parties have agreed to set up a joint high-level working group on migration and transnational crime, which is composed of representatives of both parties and will meet regularly, at least once every three months, accompanied by an additional dialogue on return and readmission between the consular services of the Moroccan Embassy in Austria and the relevant services of the Ministry of Interior of Austria taking place at close intervals, to exchange information aimed at effectively reducing all pending readmission cases. During its first meeting, the Working Group will establish its procedures and mechanisms for work, identification and readmission, in order to be able to act in an efficient and expeditious manner in all aspects of migration cooperation. The Group will propose a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation that will be submitted to the Ministers of interiors within three months. To ensure the effective organization and implementation of return operations, transportation may take place by any means, the annex pointed out.