The Indian Ocean state of Comoros hit back against France on Wednesday for suspending visas for its citizens, a further escalation in a diplomatic row linked to immigration and territorial disputes. Comoros considers Mayotte, 400km east of Mozambique and 300km west of Madagascar, part of its archipelago. But Mayotte is a former French colony that voted against independence in referenda in 1974 and 1976. It stayed French, with a status allowing legal differences from the mainland. In March 2009, Mayotte’s people voted overwhelmingly to become a fully fledged part of France. The ties with mainland France have kept Mayotte richer and more stable than coup-prone Comoros and many Comorians try to immigrate to Mayotte, which has begun deporting some of them. The French embassy in Moroni, the capital of Comoros, decided on May 4 to suspend issuing visas to all Comorian nationals. It had earlier suspended visas for officials and services, after the Comorian government refused to receive, in...

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