Albanian navy extends help for EU's maritime border mission

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's Defense Ministry has extended for a year its navy's participation in the search-and-rescue operations of the European Union's border control force, Frontex.

Defense Minister Olta Xhacka on Wednesday said the mission of a warship, mainly in the Aegean Sea, will continue in 2019.

Xhacka said Albanian sailors have "saved thousands of human lives from being sunk in the sea" during the last two years when refugees have tried to cross from Turkey to Greece.

That has been the first time Albania, a NATO member since 2009, has taken part in the western military alliance's maritime missions.