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Frontex deploys border guards to Albania to halt illegal migration

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Deutsche Welle has reported that Albanian police will patrol “shoulder to shoulder” with border guards from across the EU on the country’s frontier with Greece.

It will be the first-ever joint operation on the territory of a neighboring non-European Union country for Frontex, which is the EU agency in charge of border protection and immigration. Led by an Albanian team leader, Frontex agents will work to halt illegal immigrants heading to western Europe across the Balkans.

“This is a real game changer and a truly historical step, bringing this region closer to the EU,” said EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Albania is eager to improve its ties with Brussels, and hopes to open EU membership talks in June. In turn, EU officials are interested in portraying a clear message on migration ahead of the EU elections this coming weekend.