ISSN 2330-717X

Albania, Greece Agree To End Forgotten ‘War’

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By Fatjona Mejdini

Albania and Greece are going to work together to abolish the technical state of war that has existed between them since World War Two.

Greece passed a law declaring a state of war between the two states after Italian occupation forces in Albania attacked Greece in October 1940.

The Greek parliament has yet to abolish it even though the two countries signed a friendship agreement in the early 1990s.

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati met his Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias, and President Prokopios Pavlopoulos in Athens on Monday and discussed closing World War Two issues between the two countries.

“There is an understanding about the need to abolish the war law, including the formal terminology from the Greece part, although still we are waiting for them to take the final step,” Bushati told Top Channel TV after the meeting in Athens.

Discussing the problems that divide the two countries, two ministers spoke during their joint press conference about finalizing a mechanism that will result in a package agreement.

Beyond an agreement on ending the formal state of war, Albania and Greece have yet to reach a consensus on other issues stemming from War World Two, such as the fate of the ethnic Albanian Cham exiles.

The Cham community is a sub-group of Albanians who were expelled from northern Greece after the war when the Greek authorities accused them of collaborating with the German occupation.

“For the moment, there is no an understanding about the way how we see and want to treat this issue,” Bushati said.

Bushati’s visit to Athens also failed to resolve another recent issue, the maritime border dispute.

Since January 2010, when Albania’s Constitutional Court annulled an earlier maritime border deal signed by former Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis in 2009, the two countries have not found a new agreement.

The two ministers said in their joint press conference that they hope to handle the issue in accordance with international best practice although a solution would take time.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

One thought on “Albania, Greece Agree To End Forgotten ‘War’

  • March 23, 2016 at 7:30 am
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    I am DISGUSTED, but I admit a huge bias. My papou was born in HELLAS. My mother was born in the same house but in the manufactured state of Albania. Family properties were stolen by Hodja and his evil scum, thanks to Churchill. It is long overdue to at least hand that sector back to be reunited with Sth Epiros. If there is NO enossis then there will continue to be blood sheds. Oh and on that, what about the Albanian criminals who regularly cross the border and, for example, rob people in Threspotia blind? Mr Tsipras, my father states that you are half Epirot. Prove your loyalty.

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