EU to help Albania manage borders in migratory challenges

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The European Union says it has reached an agreement to assist Albania in border management and also deploy teams there to respond to potential flows of migrants.

Visiting EU Commission for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos on Monday hailed Albania for reaching the agreement "that will serve as a role model for similar arrangements ... with other partners in the Western Balkans."

A European Commission statement said the agreement, the first in the region, "will ... further enhance security at the EU's external borders."

The agreement must be endorsed by EU member states, then be signed by both parties, before the European Border and Coast Guard Agency can carry out operational activities and deploy teams in Albania.

Albania, which was granted EU's candidate status in 2014, hopes to launch membership negotiations this year.