Albanian parliament ratifies migration deal with Italy

  • World
  • Thursday, 22 Feb 2024

FILE PHOTO: General view of the parliament in Tirana, Albania, April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Florion Goga

TIRANA (Reuters) - Albania's parliament on Thursday ratified a migration deal with Italy allowing it to build processing centers for migrants in the Balkan country.

Seventy-seven deputies in the 140-seat parliament voted in favour of the deal, announced in November, under which European Union member Italy will open two camps across the Adriatic Sea in Albania, which is not an EU member.

One camp would screen migrants on arrival and a second would detain them while asylum applications are processed. Migrants would then either be allowed to enter Italy or be repatriated.

The agreement was challenged in Albania's Constitutional Court by lawmakers from the opposition Democratic Party, who argued it broke the constitution by transferring territory and state power to another country.

The Constitutional Court rejected the claims and gave a green light for the deal last month. Brussels has said that the Italian plans do not breach European Union law.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Ivana Sekularac, Hugh Lawson and Sharon Singleton)

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