How does Italy’s migration deal with Albania work?

Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni looks on, as she is welcomed by US President Joe Biden (not pictured), in the Oval Office at the White House, in Washington, July 27, 2023. [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited Albania on Wednesday, where her government plans to build reception camps to house thousands of migrants picked up at sea.

Looking to curb migration to Italy, Meloni signed a deal with Albania last year to send some asylum-seekers to the Balkan country and process the asylum requests there.

Here are some facts about the plan.

What is the deal?

The accord, agreed for an initial five years, foresees disembarking 36,000 migrants a year at the Albanian port of Shengjin, about 75 km (45 miles) south of the country's capital, Tirana. Their cases will be processed at a centre being built at a nearby air base in Gjader, which can hold 3,000 people.

Both facilities will be staffed by Italian personnel and will operate under Italian jurisdiction. However, outside security will be provided by Albanian guards.<...

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