The 2018 is expected to be the year that will solve the unresolved issues between Albania and Greece.
The two countries, in fact, are moving into a new chapter in their relations: there is political will and hope on both sides, that this is a good year to resolve those issues that have made the relationship between countries difficult.
The two prime ministers, Rama and Tsipras, after the London summit, both said that "very soon we could arrive at a positive resolution of these issues." Issues that develop in three directions: past, present and future.
Past: the abolition of the state of war
Greece will undertake to abolish the state of war against Albania, in force since 1940 when Mussolini attacked the Hellenic country precisely from Albania. In short, for Greece, Albania is still an enemy country, although the two countries are part of the NATO alliance.
"The Greek side has now come to understand that the state of war is a historical wreck. Its abolition will be part of the new agreement "- said the advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Glevin Dervishi.
The end of the seizure of the assets of Albanian citizens in Greece
The main consequence of the abolition of the state of war will be the end of the seizure of the assets of the Albanian citizens and of the Albanian state in Greece, which goes on from the 1940.
"The abolition of the state of war will be accompanied by other legal acts, which will allow citizens and the Albanian state to recover their assets seized in Greece" - added Dervishi.
Present: the agreement on the new maritime delimitation
The topicality between Albania and Greece concerns the agreement on the new maritime borders of the Ionian Sea. How will the two countries agree? The UN Convention on Maritime Rights clearly explains this in its 320 articles, but in this case for the two countries the situation is slightly different.
The convention, in fact, can be implemented only in the case of a clearly defined area, with precise maritime coordinates; in the case of Albania and Greece, there is a part where there are no coordinates on the map. So, first you will have to proceed with the assignment of the coordinates and then you can undoubtedly establish the new maritime delimitation.
Future: the agreement for a strategic partnership
"We are on the right track to reach a fair and better agreement than in the past" - said Ditmar Bushati.
Not only in terms of unresolved issues, the two countries would also like to plan for the future by concluding a strategic partnership agreement. Many clues suggest this; first and foremost, the support that Greece - along with that of Italy - offered for the opening of official EU membership negotiations with Albania for June next year. For this reason, in all likelihood, the agreement on unresolved issues and on the new maritime borders will be only the first step towards an agreement for the future, to allow the two countries not only good coexistence, but also the possibility of collaborating closely in the future.
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