Tirana, March 30 (Tirana Echo) – Albania and Greece have kicked off official negotiations on a sea delimitation deal and other ‘unresolved’ issues days after Albania’s President granted authorization for the talks to start.
The Foreign Ministers of Albania and Greece, Mr. Ditmir Bushati and Mr. Nikos Kotzias, met yesterday in Tirana in an attempt to resolve problematic bilateral issues and pave the way for a new deal between the two neighboring countries.
A statement on Albania’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said that “Bushati and Kotzias agreed on further steps to be taken in the coming months in view of advancing the process and finding well-accepted solutions to issues still under discussion. They paid special attention to the ongoing work on finalizing the Strategic Partnership Document in line with the will of the parties to strengthen the European dimension of Albanian – Greek relations.”
However both Greek and Albanian media are reporting a possible deadlock in talks over the ‘Cham’ issue referring to tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians expelled from Greece immediately after the seconds World War.
Greece maintains that the ‘Cham issue’ refers to a large group of former ethnic Albanian collaborators of Natzis rightly expelled from Greece after the 2nd World War, as a ‘non-existent’ issue for the Greek side, while Albania says that the Cham descendants now living in Albania deserve their property and land rights back in respect of human rights laws and that their forefathers were discriminated against by Greek authorities at the time.
Both foreign ministers hope they would be able to agree ahead of an important meeting between respective prime ministers in coming weeks.
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