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Morocco earthquake: Authorities accept only limited international help


Almost as soon as news broke of Friday's earthquake in Morocco, offers of help from around the world came in. But the country has so far been selective in what it has chosen to accept.

A statement on Sunday from the interior ministry said Morocco had "responded in this particular phase to offers of support from the friendly nations: Spain, Qatar, the UK and the United Arab Emirates".

Spain has sent a search-and-rescue unit with sniffer dogs and the UK has deployed a similar team, but there have been questions over why Morocco has been slow to accept other offers.

French help is on standby but the head of one rescue charity, Secouristes sans Frontieres, said his aid workers had not been given the go-ahead from the Moroccan government, the AFP news agency reports.

Algeria, which cut diplomatic ties with its North African neighbour two years ago, said it could send 80 specialised rescue workers from its civil protection force.

There have also been offers from the US, Tunisia, Turkey and Taiwan among others.


But the decision over what assistance to welcome has got caught up in questions of sovereignty and geopolitics.

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