HC Deb 03 March 2000 vol 345 c433W
Mrs. Gillan

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Albania. [112108]

Mr. Vaz

The security situation in Albania continues to cause concern. After the civil unrest in 1997 there are still large caches of weapons throughout the country. Although the Government have had some success in recent months in tackling organised crime, armed gangs still operate in the north of the country and in the south on major routes from Greece.

We are helping the Albanian Government to build up the capacity of its police forces and currently have 20 British police officers serving there with the Western European Union's Multi-National Advisory Police Element. We are also providing support, bilaterally and through NATO, for the rebuilding and restructuring of the Albanian armed forces, as well as advice on the disposal of surplus munitions. Up-to-date information on the security situation as it affects travellers in Albania is provided in the FCO's travel advice.