Minister Bushati and Deputy Minister Gjebrea attend the EU Ministerial meeting on the refugee crisis

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ditmir Bushati and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Ms. Elona Gjebrea attended the EU special Ministerial meeting dedicated to the refugee crisis, which took place in Luxembourg, upon the invitation of Mr. Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Asylum of Luxembourg, and Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Affairs.

This meeting was attended by the Ministers of Foreign and Internal Affairs of the EU member countries, Western Balkans, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland. 

In his speech, Minister Bushati stated that: “This is a crisis bearing a mélange of several interconnected crises; it is a humanitarian crisis in both sea and land, hazardous in terms of security issues, and it is also a financial crisis faced by countries dealing with the migratory wave. Such a combination of crises have challenged the Western Balkans’ capacities to respond as transit countries, however, despite congestion at their borders, the countries of the region have demonstrated that they can stay faithful to European values”.

Furthermore, Minister Bushati stated that, “in the context of collective efforts to respond to the refugee crisis, Albania has prepared an emergency plan, assessing its existing capacities and needs in case we are affected by this phenomenon”.

Recalling Kosovo’s exodus in the late ‘90s, when Albania hosted hundreds and thousands of refugees from Kosovo, in his speech Minister Bushati underlined the necessity to jointly tackle and address this crisis created by the migratory inflow who attempt to reach the EU through the Western Balkan. He said that in such situations, the feelings of solidarity should prevail.

In conclusion, the Ministers adopted unanimously a declaration, which expresses the joint will of the EU countries, Western Balkans, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, to address in partnership common challenges of the migration crisis. Thus, the need for concrete cooperation and for transforming the collective responsibility into collective actions shall tackled in a a spirit of solidarity.

The observation of international and human rights obligations in providing assistance and international protection to refugees, the strengthening of security through efficient management of borders, and the fight against organized crime, as well as the support to the receiving communities and countries of transit, constitute the main pillars of the cooperation agreed in this declaration.

Note: The link to the declaration of the high-level conference is given below:

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