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Confident on Albanian court decision on migrant deal - Bucci

Confident on Albanian court decision on migrant deal - Bucci

'Necessary procedural step, protocol respects all the rules'

ROME, 19 dicembre 2023, 18:41

Redazione ANSA



Italy is confident in a positive decision from the Albanian Constitutional Court on the migration agreement between Rome and Tirana as it respects all the rules, Italy's ambassador to Albania, Fabrizio Bucci, told ANSA on the sidelines of the Ambassadors' Conference at the foreign ministry in Rome on Tuesday. Bucci said the decision by the court to suspend ratification of the protocol by parliament is a "necessary procedural step" while it examines two appeals filed by the opposition. "The Court will rule on the merits in January," he added. "We are waiting confidently because we believe that the protocol is absolutely compatible with both the Albanian Constitution and all international norms," said Bucci.
    In early November Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni and her Albanian counterpart Edi Rama signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up two centres in Albania to process the asylum applications of migrants and refugees rescued at sea by Italian navy, coast guard and police vessels. People with special needs such as the elderly, children or pregnant women, migrants and refugees who have been rescued by NGO-run ships and people who land directly on Italian soil are to be excluded from the deal. On bilateral trade, Bucci stressed "the particularly felicitous season of relations between Italy and Albania". "It is clear from all the indicators: we are Albania's leading trade partner, our exchange is worth 20% of Albania's GDP, one third of Albania's global exchange takes place with Italy, half of all foreign companies in Albania are Italian, the number of our companies has grown from 2,600 to 2,800, we are present in all sectors with small, medium and large enterprises," said the ambassador. But it is not only the economy that links the two countries. "We have a dozen archaeological missions, and Italian is one of the most studied languages" in Albania, said Bucci. On the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking he said the two countries "set up a working group at the level of police chiefs two years ago and have a dozen joint investigation teams". "In the last two years alone we have captured 80 fugitives and seized more than a tonne of narcotics," he continued. Lastly, Bucci pointed out the "intensification" of relations and visits at a political level over the last year as a result of "this new focus of the Italian government on the Balkans". In short, he said "in Albania, Italy is the most important country, and we consider Albania a privileged gateway to all the Balkans".


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