From: Alice Taylor
Four Albanian Children Retrieved from Syrian Refugee Camp, More to Follow

Prime Minister Edi Rama announced yesterday that four Albanian children and one of their mother’s will be returned to the country from refugee camps in Syria.

Following his statement to Top Channel, the Syrian Red Crescent posted pictures on Twitter of children leaving the al-Hol refugee camp. They said they had acted after the Albanian government had requested assistance.

It’s estimated that around 51 Albanian children are currently in refugee camps, mainly the al-Hol camp.

Also yesterday, the Consul of Albanian in Lebanon, Marc Ghorayeb said that he will work towards the repatriation of all Albanian children and women who are not involved in a crime. He said it’s a difficult mission because of the presence of ISIS.

“A lot of time has been spent since the repatriation of Alvin Berisha, with the director Gledis Nano. I want to emphasize that there were strong negotiations similar to those that secured the return of Alvin Berisha,” he said.

“We started the negotiations a year ago and then COVID-19 appeared,” he added.

“We will bring the rest [of the children’ who are not involved in crimes. All those women and fathers involved in crimes will be accountable to the authorities, then we will look,” he concluded.

Minister of the Interior Sander Lleshaj said that in the second phase of the operation, 20 others will be repatriated. He told the Open TV show that they expect to receive the ‘green light’ to start the process in the coming days.

“We cannot get a fixed date as it’s a multi-stakeholder process. We want to remove these children from the hands of terror as well as to give messages that their country is Albania,” Lleshaj said.