Algeria has recently refused a request by the European Union (E.U.) to host an airbase for unmanned reconnaissance drones that can track down boats carrying illegal migrants through the Mediterranean Sea, an Algerian diplomat said Sunday.
"A few days ago, Algerian authorities turned down a request by the E.U. to build on its territory an airbase for drones that can track down the movement of illegal human traffickers," the diplomat told on condition of anonymity.
"The E.U. also made the same request to Morocco and Tunisia in order to monitor the movement of boats transferring illegal migrants or drugs to France, Italy and Spain," the diplomat added.
He went on to say that technical studies regarding the appropriate location of the airbase showed that a number of sites could work, including ones in Algeria, Tunisia, and the island of Malta.
"European countries have asked the Maghreb countries for further cooperation to resist the phenomenon of illegal migration in hazardous conditions which lead to mass-drowning," the diplomat said.