BRUSSELS - The European Union and Morocco on Friday agreed to renew their partnership in order to work on matters of migration and tackle human smuggling networks.

The agreement followed a meeting between the EU Commissioner for Interior Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and the Spanish Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska and Moroccan Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit in Rabat.

The EU Commissioner and the two Ministers regretted every death of people attempting unlawful entry, including those that occurred during the recent events on 24 June, a European Commission statement said.

They also regretted the injuries, including to members of the Moroccan and Spanish border forces.

According to media reports, 23 people died during an attempted mass crossing into the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco.

Investigations were under way to clarify the circumstances surrounding these events. At the same time, the Commissioner and the two Ministers welcomed the fact-finding commission set up by the Moroccan National Human Rights Council, said the statement.

Morocco's practical efforts have resulted, in the first half of this year, in preventing more than 26,000 illegal departures of migrants. In the same period, Morocco has dismantled around a hundred criminal trafficking networks, it noted.

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