Meloni meets Rama, agreement for two migrant centers in Albania
ROME (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A memorandum of understanding on the management of migratory flows between Italy and Albania was signed today in Palazzo Chigi between the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Edi Rama. “Albania will give Italy the opportunity to use some areas of the Albanian territory where Italy will be able to create with its own expenses to set up centers for the management of illegal migrants.”
“Initially – added Meloni -, the structures will be able to welcome up to three thousand people who will stay as much time is needed to carry out the asylum application procedures and possibly repatriation. The agreement does not concern minors, pregnant women and other vulnerable people. It could reach up to 36 thousand people. The protocol we signed today with Albania brings further collaboration on a political and legal level, which will be followed by regulatory provisions and the necessary work to prepare the structures. We plan to make the centers operational for spring 2024”.
For the Italian prime minister, this is an agreement that enriches “one historical friendship, ours is a strategic partnership that will develop through commercial relationships of absolute excellence. Italy is Albaniàs first trading partner and ours trade is worth around 20% of the Albanian GDP, but also through exchanges between our communities in Italy and Albania. There are intense cultural and social relationships. It’s a very close collaboration that already exists in the fight against illegality. Today’s agreement enriches this collaboration with a further initiative”.
For Meloni it is “an innovative solution that demonstrates that new ideas can arise from friendship and cooperation, and trust me that tomorrow I can also become an example and model to follow for other collaboration agreements of this type. I consider this to be a European-wide agreement and it shows that yes, we can collaborate 360 degrees on the management of migration and it can be done with other European nations.”
She observed “mass illegal migration is a phenomenon that the EU and its Member States cannot face it alone,” adding “from this point of view the collaboration between EU and non-EU states can be decisive. This is why we wanted to strengthen and relaunch this cooperation. Not only Albania confirms itself as a friend of Italy, but also a friendly nation of the EU. Despite Albania is not yet formally part of the EU, it acts as if it already was. That’s one of the reasons why the Albanians are proud of the fact that Italy has always been one of the largest supporters of the entry of Albania and the Western Balkans as EU member states. I don’t like to call it enlargement but reunification, I don’t think that the EU is a club and I believe that the Balkans and Albania are all European countries”, concluded Meloni.
The Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama declared, “I don’t think we will ever be able to pay this debt that we have with Italy for what the institutions have done for us from the first day we arrived in Italy to find refuge, escape from hell and imagine a better life.”
If Italy calls Albania, it’s there,” Edi Rama underlined and assured that “giving a hand means helping to manage a difficult situation for Italy. The truth is that geography has become the curse of Italy because when you enter Italy you enter Europe, but when it comes to managing the migration flows, as Europeans we know very well how things go”, concluded Rama. (ITALPRESS).
– Foto: Agenzia Fotogramma –