Mutual commitment to resolving bilateral issues with Greece

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati met today with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic Nikolaos Kotzias, who is on a two-day visit in Tirana.

This visit follows the ongoing process of intensifying and boosting dialogue and contacts between heads of diplomacy of both countries, with a view to increase trust, deepen cooperation, explore opportunities and find common solutions on a range of bilateral issues yet to be addressed.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Greece and Albania as well as the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, Good Neighborliness and Security between the two countries. 
Talks focused on finding solutions to bilateral issues, developments in the region, coping with security challenges and the need for a better interaction among regional countries in addressing them.

Ministers agreed that strengthening current relations of strategic importance between our neighboring countries, which are NATO members and always closer in the European plan, is important not only at the bilateral level, but also serves a region that is determined to look ahead and build its European future through cooperation. Minister Bushati praised and expressed gratitude for Greece's role and support in the integration process of Albania and Western Balkan countries.

After the meeting with his Greek counterpart, Minister Bushati highlighted that the parties have established a mechanism for addressing all bilateral issues, which will be accompanied by a roadmap and a calendar, to achieve tangible results.  This aims at freeing bilateral relations from unnecessary burdens that counterbalance the natural pace of relations’ development between our two neighboring countries and strategic partners of shared vital interests.

Albania highlighted the special importance of Greece dismantling the War Law and all legal effects resulting from it, as a key step in closing the chapter of World War II between the two countries.

Both Ministers agreed that this absurd law reflects neither the reality of current bilateral relations nor the common will of the parties to bring these relations forward.

Finding mutually-accepted solutions, based on international law and in accordance with the domestic legal framework, will give a new impetus to our relations and will contribute to strengthening and enhancing cooperation in all areas of common interest. 

With regard to the importance of addressing the Cham issue, Minister Bushati stated that "the Albanian party has no territorial claims against Greece. To us, the Cham issue is a matter of fundamental freedoms and human rights, which includes several components, such as freedom of movement, the right to property and respect for the fallen, based on the humanitarian law".

In the framework of this visit, ministers will also attend the event organized in collaboration with the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Tirana, entitled: "On the importance of Greek-Albanian relations for the European future of the region".

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