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Cleverly travels to Albania amid UK efforts to tackle illegal migration

The annual Berlin Process Summit in the Albanian capital of Tirana will bring together Western Balkan and European leaders.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is set to use a summit in Albania to help tackle illegal migration.

The annual Berlin Process Summit in the Albanian capital of Tirana will bring together Western Balkan and European leaders amid attempts to ease tensions in the region.

Mr Cleverly is expected to use the gathering to seek greater co-operation on the movement of migrants, as the Government continues in its bid to stop cross-Channel small boats crossings.

Ministers have repeatedly pointed to the success of a recently signed deal with Albania in tackling arrivals, with illegal migrants from the country also sent back under the arrangement.

“The UK is committed to working with the Western Balkans to tackle gangs who exploit lives for profit, as well as addressing the wider security challenges across the region,” the Foreign Secretary said.

“Our partnership with Albania is doing just that. Through increased law enforcement co-operation, we have driven down small boats arrivals by Albanians by 90% on last year, and are returning those who have no legal right to remain in the UK.

“The UK will always be a reliable partner standing side-by-side with the region to promote a prosperous and stable future.”

While there, Mr Cleverly will launch a British Chamber of Commerce in Albania to boost trade ties between the two countries.

He will also formally open a police command centre that houses the UK-Albania joint migration task force.

The Foreign Office said Mr Cleverly would also use the meeting to solidify support for Israel in the aftermath of the attack by Hamas, amid fears about the escalating situation in the Middle East.

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