November 7, 2018 / 1:13 PM / 8 months ago

France and Comoros agree to end migration row

MORONI (Reuters) - France and the Indian Ocean state of Comoros have agreed to resolve a row linked to immigration and territorial disputes, they said on Wednesday.

Comoros will reverse a March 21 decision to refuse to accept Comoros citizens turned away from the island of Mayotte, which is officially part of France, although Comoros claims it. In turn, France will rescind a suspension on visas for Comorians.

Faced with a wave of migrants this year, many of them pregnant women hoping to give birth in Mayotte so their children could become French, France this year began deporting would-be immigrants back to Comoros.

Comoros considers Mayotte, 400 km (250 miles) east of Mozambique, as part of its archipelago.

But Mayotte is a former French colony that voted against independence in 1974 and 1976. In 2009, its people voted overwhelmingly to become a full part of France.

That has kept Mayotte richer and more stable than the coup-prone Comoros, and many Comorians try to move to Mayotte.

Further agreed steps will be set out in a document to be signed later this month, the two foreign ministries said in a joint statement.

Reporting by Ali Amir Ahmed; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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