Albania criticizes ‘fake news’ on UK refugee center report

Albania on Thursday scorned reports that it may be preparing to host an offshore center to keep asylum seekers in Britain, in the latest blow to London’s efforts. to find a solution to the growing number of clandestine immigration by small boats.

Albania’s Foreign Minister, Olta Xhaçka, criticized a story about the issue in The Times – which mistakenly called her a man – as “fake news”. The country’s prime minister, Edi Rama, told reporters the country would “never” be a country where rich countries can set up camps for their refugees.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is under considerable pressure from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several Conservative MPs to prevent flow of people in small boats, which they claim is a larger political issue The “sleazy” scandal than the second job of MPs.

Johnson’s advisers have warned him that the migration issue will hit the Conservative Party at the polls unless it is resolved.

Groups representing refugees point out that, while the number of people arriving in the UK by boat has increased significantly, a drop in arrivals by other routes means total arrivals have fallen. . The UK has received asylum applications from 37,235 people for the year to June, down 4% year-on-year.

The Times reports that “discreet talks” are underway between London and Tirana about possibly setting up a migrant detention center there while their claims are considered.

Media reports earlier this year suggested offshore hubs could be established in Morocco, Turkey, Rwanda, Gibraltar or the Isle of Man. Competent authorities in all such territories refuse is open to host such a hub. Interior Ministry officials last year reviewed Installing a processing center on Ascension Island or St Helena, British territories in the South Atlantic, although the plan was abandoned.

Albania in July became the first European country to sign a consent with the UK to take back its citizens who have unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the UK, as well as its nationals who face deportation for those who violate foreign citizenship and Albanians who have overstayed their UK visas.

The Citizenship and Borders bill, which is currently being passed by parliament, will for the first time limit the rights of people who have successfully applied for asylum in the UK after breaking immigration rules to enter the country. The courts of the United Kingdom have often interpreted the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention as prohibiting the country from discriminating against those who broke immigration laws to seek asylum in the UK.

Rama told reporters: “Albania will never be a country where very rich countries camp for their refugees – never!”

Xhaçka wrote on Twitter: “This time, old fake news also appeared on the front page of a respected newspaper like The Times! And btw I’m not ‘he’ but ‘she’ who has always admired the quality of British media. Sad.”

Some 23,500 people have arrived in the UK by small boat so far this year, more than double the figure for all of 2020. On some days, more than 1,000 people have arrived in the UK as part of an apparent tactic by the attackers. smuggling in order to overwhelm the French containment efforts. sailing trips.

The Home Office said migrants crossing the border were putting their lives at risk and it was important to do everything possible to “disrupt the business model” of smuggling gangs. It reiterated its position that migrants should seek asylum in the first safe country they arrive.

“As part of our response, it is vital that we take action to prevent navigation in the Channel and work with our international partners to put an end to these dangerous voyages,” it said.

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