A cooperation agreement between Greece and Albania was signed in Kakavia by Deputy Minister of Civil Protection, Eleftherios Oikonomou, and Albania’s Deputy Minister of Interior in charge of border management, Julian Hodaj.
Oikonomou described the agreement as an “important step” in the fight against organized crime.
The signing of the Agreement was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Interior of Albania in charge of anti-trafficking issues, Romina Kuko, as well as the Ambassador of Greece in Tirana, Sofia Filippidou.
Oikonomou, in his statements, underlined that the Agreement signifies in the most decisive way, the stable political will to cultivate a climate of trust between the two countries and added:
“The Agreement contributes to the confirmation of the good relations between the two countries to strengthen our existing cooperation, with the aim of jointly finding ways to address and combat the modern challenges and security threats of our countries.”
It is noted that the Contact Center is housed in a building on Greek territory, in the area of the border crossing point in Kakavia, and will be staffed by police and customs staff of the two countries, who will work in a single space.
The main purpose of the Center, as the Deputy Minister pointed out, is the exchange of information between law enforcement authorities and improving border cooperation to control organized crime and illegal immigration.
The exchange of information, through the Center, mainly concerns illegal immigration, human trafficking, violent extremism, fake travel documents, drug trafficking, firearms and ammunition, as well as violations related to the Customs Code.
Hodaj noted that “the political will to fight cross-border crime and to strengthen bilateral relations is clear.”
He stressed that he is looking forward to seeing the results of this cooperation.
U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Yuri Kim, also commented on this development from her Twitter handle, writing:
“Today’s agreement between Albania and Greece to strengthen border cooperation is a positive development. Better border control strengthens the security of both countries and the region. Good to see our friends working together to solve shared problems.”