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Morocco: Overseas Students

Volume 714: debated on Wednesday 4 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what reply they have received from the Government of Morocco to their demands concerning the decision to withdraw permission from students who had been given visas to attend a Talk Together event in Oxford in August, which had received funding from the British Council. [HL5822]

On 23 September 2009 our embassy in Rabat received a written response from the Moroccan Government to a request for clarification of the events surrounding the Talk Together event in Oxford in August.

In their reply, the Moroccan Government said that the decision by the students from Casablanca not to take part in the event meant that the delegation as it stood lacked the necessary balance and was not representative of all sides to the dispute. The Moroccan authorities told us that, in these circumstances, they felt it would have been inappropriate for only students from Laayoune to participate.

The Government understand that the British Council did not directly fund this event. Talk Together received funding from the European Commission's Youth in Action programme, a programme the British Council is contracted to administer in the UK on behalf of the European Commission.