Albanian Minister – If Accession Talks are Conditional on Refugee Camps in Albania, Better Without Membership Invitation from Brussels

Tirana, Albania | June 21 (Tirana Echo) – Albania’s Minister for Diaspora and former Prime Minister Pandeli Majko has slammed possible EU requests to erect a refugee camp in the small Balkan country, which the block has allegedly requested in return of opening membership talks later this month.

Majko reacted after media allegations that Albania’s EU membership talks would be conditioned upon the acceptance to build a camp of up to 600,000 refugees and former ISIS fighters in the small Balkan country of less than 3 million residents, echoing widespread national concerns over the past week.

If there is any European politician who thinks that EU membership talks with Albania should be conditioned by the acceptance of refugee camps in our territory, then it would be better not to have such an invitation, as this would not be European in nature. I am convinced that Brussels cannot ask a country and a nation to change its social structure and jeopardize its security and national security,” – said Majko through a Facebook status.

The former prime minister who led Albania during the Kosovo crisis, and a prominent politician among ruling socialist ranks said that he does not believe such news would be true and accused Syria’s Bashar al Assad of using refugees as ‘human bombs’ against the common European values.

Earlier in June, the Albanian Government dismissed media claims that the small Balkan nation is to host a camp of former ISIS fighters in its territory, calming public concerns over a possible threat to national security.

Responding to public concerns over social media, Prime Minister Edi Rama said that there was ‘nothing true in the opposition’s claims, as the opposition was turning fantasy into mud-slinging’.

Albania has previously been used to host undesirables by other European countries. In 2005, the United States sent five inmates from Guantanamo Bay there. Between 2013 and 2016, Washington also relocated 2,901 Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) extremists there from Iraq, which had been trying to expel them since 2003.

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