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Albanian PM refutes Greek FM: The Tsam issue has been tabled

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has called for the construction of a monument to the Tsams in Epirus and described the issue as one of the most problematic issues in the negotiations with Greece.

In an interview with VIZION PLUS on Alabanian True TV, the Albanian prime minister spoke about the ongoing negotiations between the two countries and said: "We are in the process of discussing chess moves."

He was then asked about the statements of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzia, who stated that there was no "tsam" issue and that "there is no debate between the two sides".

Edi Rama has denied the statements and has said that the issue has been put on the table, but the moves are careful not to negatively affect other issues that lead to an agreement.
Rama said: "Kotzias has heard it wrong. The Albanian side strongly demanded that the issue of the Tsams be placed on the table. The fact that we end with the debate about all three of these things that were unthinkable is the achievement of our government, we have been working for them for three and a half years. We insist on the right of recollection, but through chess moves. We do not want to hurt the other (issues). We want nothing more, nothing less, than what is ours." Indeed, he referred to the "legitimate request" of the Tsams for the placement of a monument in Epirus as a "memorial".

"We will insist because this is an Albanian issue. Greece has a paranoia, a self-imagination for its own reasons, that the Albanians have territorial claims and this claim has the name "Tsams". We have no such claim. We are talking about Albanian citizens who had property in the past in the Greek state, we are talking about Albanian citizens who have bitter memories and rightly ask to remember," said Rama.

The Tsams were an Albanian speaking minority in Epirus who collaborated en masse with Axis occupiers in WW II, fleeing after the flight of the Germans from the Balkans. They were tried in abstentia, found guilty of high treason and atrocities and their properties confiscated after the war.