Yesterday, four children and one woman arrived in Albania after their liberation from the al-Hol camp in Syria.
They arrived on an Air Albania flight, accompanied by Prime Minister Edi Rama who had been in Lebanon to finalise the operation.
The families of the children had been waiting for several hours at the airport for their arrival. Many were in tears of relief and happiness about finally being reunited after up to seven years or absense.
The Albanian government has set up a reception structure for those returning from Syria. This will include medical and other forms of necessary analysis.
After touching down in Tirana, Rama gave a press conference where he promised the government is working to remove other Albanians inside the camp. It’s believed there are as many as 51 Albanian children amongst them.
“I am very happy we have finished the first phase of a very complex operation. What is even more important is that now we have the basis to proceed with the second phase. Other children have been identified. A good number of contacts and interviews have been made and I believe that sooner or later we will return the rest to Albania.”
When asked about the reintegration of refugees into society, he stressed that the reception structures will deal with this aspect. He said that those who have committed crimes will be brought to justice under Albanian law.