The Albanian government proposed to host 20 out of 150 illegal Eritrean immigrants who were stuck aboard the ship Diciotti, on the Italian coast. The rest of the immigrants will be taken in by Ireland and the Vatican. According to the ANSA news agency, Italian vice Prime Minister Matteo Salvini was pleased with the agreement reached with Albania and the Vatican.
This weekend, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati expressed his willingness to aid Italy on behalf of the Albanian government by hosting 20 immigrants via a Twitter post, saying “We cannot replace #Europe, but we are always here, on the other side of a sea where once we were the #Eritreans suffering for days & nights in the middle of the sea, waiting for #Europe to wake up! Yesterday, Italy saved us & today we are ready to give a hand.”
#Italy! We cannot replace #Europe, but we are always here, on the other side of a sea where once we were the #Eritreans suffering for days & nights in the middle of the sea, waiting for #Europe to wake up! Yesterday, Italy saved us & today we are ready to give a hand 🇦🇱🇮🇹
— Ditmir Bushati (@ditmirbushati) August 25, 2018
This decision is yet another attempt on the part of Prime Minister Edi Rama to acquire Western support for himself, by taking on risks and expenses on behalf of Albania in order to solve the problems of Western countries.
Rama has used this kind of political maneuvering before, ensuring international support at times when he stood accused of having connections to or facilitating drug trafficking and crime.
In June, 2018, in a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Rama was quick to offer Albania’s services as a potential host country for camps that would hold immigrants expelled from EU Member States.
In 2018, again, Rama approved of a coordination center for former ISIS fighters returning to the Balkans from Syria and Iraq, to be built in Albania.
In 2016, 3000 Mujahedin-e-Khalq members were resettled in Albania – thus ridding the US of one of the largest headaches that followed the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq – in exchange for Rama and Former Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri visiting the White House and meeting President Obama.
Three years ago, Rama volunteered to the disassembly of Syrian chemical weapons, in exchange for a telephone call with President Obama and an invitation to the White House. As a guarantee, Obama addressed Rama a letter, in which, among others, he expressed the desire to invite him for an official visit to the US. Widespread protests forced Rama to withdraw, but he still got his visit, in exchange for the 3000 Mujahedins.