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Meeting with Rishi Sunak in London, Rama for "The Guardian": I will speak the language of truth, dismantle stereotypes

Meeting with Rishi Sunak in London, Rama for "The Guardian": I will

Prime Minister Edi Rama starts today his several-day visit to London, Great Britain. Rama will meet with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, where the focus of discussions will be the issue of immigrants, crime and the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

For "The Guardian" , Rama said that in the meeting with the British Prime Minister he will only speak the truth, stressing that the statements from Britain about Albanian immigrants were a shame.

"I will speak the language of truth," Rama told the Guardian. "What we have seen and heard in Great Britain has been a shame, this separation from a community and association of all Albanians with criminals" .

It is hoped that Rama will remove the "tension" of a meeting that is likely to be dominated not by diplomatic talk but by real politics, at a time when Anglo-Albanian ties have been overshadowed by boat crossings, human trafficking and organized crime.

"Dismantling stereotypes will be key" , says Rama. The inflammatory rhetoric given by senior members of the Conservative government after Brexit had not only shocked many in Albania, but also law-abiding, tax-paying Albanians – a community now thought to number 150,000 – across the UK. .

Home secretary Suella Braverman's claim that England's south coast was being targeted by migrants - many young Albanians - who intended to stage "an invasion" had been particularly worrying.

"Unfortunately, what we heard was not just some kind of slip, things that came out of the mouth as a mistake," said Rama. "It's part of a whole spirit that is completely on a collision course with the spirit of Great Britain, the Great Britain for which I have such respect."

More than ever, he insisted, it was important to separate ordinary Albanians in the minds of policymakers and officials from the "rotten apples" involved in criminal networks.

"For some time we have been working and fighting together against criminal gangs that are not exclusively Albanian, but international" , added Rama. "And we want to strengthen this cooperation, but what is so disturbing is the connection that is often made between being Albanian and criminality. The Albanians obviously do not control the Channel. This is absurd."

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