The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement Wednesday to deny that it is involved in any discussion with Albania regarding the claims of the Cham community to property in Greece.
“Greece did propose to Albania negotiation over a series of issues that remain open between the two countries,” Athens said. “The Cham issue was not included in this. The Albanian side wanted and asked for it to be included. The Greek side did not accept the request.”
The statement was issued after Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias denied in an interview with Alpha radio claims by his Albanian counterpart Ditmir Bushati that the two countries submitted a non-paper to the European Union that included a reference to claims by the Cham community in Albania.
The Chams believe they have a right to the property they left in Greece when they were expelled between 1944 and 1945.
The Foreign Ministry said that there was a reference to the Cham issue in a non-paper that was provided to Tirana as a proposal for talks but only to stress that Athens does not consider there to be any valid claims from the Chams.