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Guinea Bissau; Spain: Cooperation Agreement on Immigration Signed

(Mar. 2, 2008) On January 27, 2008, the Foreign Minister of Spain, Miguel Angel Moratinos, visited Guinea-Bissau to meet with Prime Minister Martinho N'Dafa Cabi. At the meeting, representatives of the two countries signed a cooperation agreement on immigration designed to control illegal immigration to Spain.

Moratinos was quoted as saying that a previous repatriation agreement signed in 2003 did not work because of its focus on policing and because it did not include aspects of cooperation in such areas as the strengthening of local police forces, the fight against human trafficking, and the hiring of legal labor. According to Moratinos, the new agreement integrates cooperative measures in security, border control, economic development, and the hiring of local workers.

Guinea-Bissau is currently a place of transit on the way to Spain for many sub-Saharan immigrants, and so another purpose of the Moratinos visit was to negotiate a broader, future collaboration of Guinea-Bissau with Frontex, the European external borders agency. (Spain and Guinea-Bissau Sign Agreement to Curb Illegal Migration, EL MUNDO, Jan. 28, 2008, Open Source Center, No. EUP20080128950021; Governo e Espanha Assinam Acordo para Combater Imigração Ilegal, NOTÍCIAS LUSÓFONAS, Jan. 27, 2008.)