Source: Associated Press
By NICOLE WINFIELD and AMIRA EL MASAITI
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Pope Francis praised Morocco as a model of religious moderation and migrant welcome as he kicked off a trip to the kingdom Saturday, warning that border walls and fear-mongering won’t stop people from exercising their rights to seek a better life elsewhere.
King Mohamed VI welcomed Francis as he arrived during an unusual rainstorm and began a visit aimed at boosting Christian-Muslim ties and showing solidarity with Morocco’s growing migrant community.
Morocco last year became the main destination for sub-Saharan African migrants seeking to reach Europe via Spain. The influx has strained the kingdom’s resources and fueled anti-migrant sentiment in Spain ahead of the European Union nation’s April 28 general election.