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Albania raises border issues

The moment Turkey is openly challenging the Greek EEZ causing many problems, Albania is also posing in a provocative way a border issue with Greece.


As Kathimerini notes, Tirana last week made strong demarches in Athens requesting a modification in the survey for hydrocarbons in the Ionian Sea, on the grounds that they violated Albanian territorial waters. In fact, they come to be requested and maps of land surveys in Epirus.

Diplomatic sources speak of an attempt to challenge the borders - a move that involves a high risk for Albania. At the same time of upheaval in the Western Balkans, the theme of a "Greater Albania"again resurfaces from the limbo of history.

According to the maps released in 2011 by the then Minister of Energy Maniatis, surveys will be conducted extensively over Ioannina. When the maps were published, no issue was raised. There is widespread suspicion that behind the movements of Tirana is Turkey. The new element that generates suspicions that Ankara seeks to create a front against Greece is the meeting betweeen Erdogan and the so-called party of Chams, the PDIU, during his visit to Tirana. The meeting with the PDIU offers no other interpretation than the incitement of the "issue" of Chams, note diplomatic sources.

In this climate, Foreign Minister Kotzias has stated he will not attend the summit of Foreign Ministers of member countries of the Southeast Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP), organized in Tirana on 22 May. Diplomatic sources point out that a possible absence of Greece from this meeting will provide an alibi for Tirana to continue provocatioms without getting answers and will lead to a further isolation of the Athens area. Instead, according to reports, the Prime Minister is considering travelling to Tirana on 26 May for the SEECP Summit.