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Albanian parliament approves controversial plan to retain migrants for Italy

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Albanian parliament approves controversial plan to retain migrants for Italy

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s parliament approved a deal Thursday for the country to hold thousands of migrants rescued by Italy in international waters while their asylum applications are processed, despite protests from opposition lawmakers and human rights groups. .

Parliament, dominated by Prime Minister Edi Rama’s Socialist Party, approved the initiative, while the conservative opposition tried to interrupt the vote with whistles. The president would issue a decree to approve it definitively.

Conservative lawmakers have repeatedly interfered with voting since October in protests against the socialist government.

Under the five-year agreement, Albania would hold up to 3,000 migrants at any one time in two processing centers while their asylum applications are processed, for periods of around a month.

The agreement has worried many human rights activists, while the European Union sees the project as a possible model for the future.

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