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EU seals migrant border pact with Albania

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says it has signed an agreement with Albania allowing EU border guards to enter the Balkan country to help control migrants, the first time the bloc has concluded such an accord.

EU headquarters said Friday that the agreement is “aimed at tackling irregular migration, in particular sudden changes in migratory flows, and cross-border crime.”

Albania, which is not in the EU, has become a preferred route for migrants moving toward northern Europe from Greece and Bulgaria since Serbia tightened border controls.

The border guards could enter Albania, if Tirana agrees, and would be armed. They would not operate under Albanian law and could not be searched.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the accord “is a milestone in the EU’s external cooperation on border management.”

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