Metzler hails successful Albanian visit

Switzerland and Albania are to sign an accord on the repatriation of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo. The move was hailed as a step forward by the Swiss justice and police minister, Ruth Metzler, who has just ended a two-day visit to Albania.

This content was published on January 24, 2000 - 21:59

Switzerland and Albania are to sign an accord on the repatriation of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo. The move was hailed as a step forward by the Swiss justice and police minister, Ruth Metzler, who has just ended a two-day visit to Albania.

The agreement is due to be signed in February.

Metzler, who held talks in Tirana with her Albanian counterpart, Ilir Panda, and the interior minister, Spartak Poci, said "I am very pleased that as a result of this trip, it is clear the signing of the agreement is just a matter of time".

The talks also addressed areas in which Switzerland could co-operate with Albania, for example, in the training of police forces, and helping Albania to establish an independent justice system.

Metzler's visit follows trips to Kosovo in November and Macedonia in December, during which she saw for herself the conditions to which refugees were returning.

Kosovar Albanians returning from Switzerland usually fly directly to Pristina, or travel via Macedonia, as the land route through Albania is considered to be too dangerous.



From staff and wire reports

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