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Deal to speed extradition of illegal Kosovars

Switzerland and Kosovo have signed a readmission agreement, enabling Switzerland to return Kosovars who are in the country illegally to their homeland.

Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said the accord provided the legal framework for an already existing practice.

Widmer-Schlumpf signed the deal with the Kosovo interior minister, Zenum Pajaziti, during his visit to Bern on Wednesday.

She said cooperation with Kosovo was important since it is a transit country for organised crime. Pajaziti said his government would increase efforts to fight drugs and human trafficking.

Switzerland has the largest expatriate community of Kosovars after Germany, with 170,000 living in the alpine nation.

The new agreement, according to Widmer-Schlumpf, would only affect a couple of dozen people.

However, human rights organisations including Amnesty International warned the Swiss government against using the accord to send back members of ethnic minorities.

Roma people among other minorities still face discrimination in Kosovo, they said.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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