NEWS

FM sources: Edi Rama's remarks did not refer to land borders

TAGS: Politics, Diplomacy

The land border between Greece and Albania is not among the issues discussed between the two countries, sources from the Greek foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday, responding to remarks by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Thursday night.

“The two countries are not discussing their borders, as those have been determined by international agreements and no negotiation is taking place over them,” the sources told the state-run news agency ANA-MPA.

The same sources said Athens and Tirana signed a friendship agreement in 1996, in which they proclaim their respect for the inviolability of existing borders.

Speaking during an interview with Albania’s Vizion Plus TV on Thursday, Rama appeared to suggest Athens and Tirana are in talks over potential border changes.

The comment was made in the context of negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo over a land-swap as a way of ending a long-running dispute between the two countries.

“What is it that we are discussing with Greece today? The border. What did Kosovo and Montenegro discuss and achieved? The border. Why is it that the border between Kosovo and Serbia should not be discussed? It will surely be discussed, you like it or not. A [border] demarcation process will take place in this case too,” he was quoted as saying by news website Exit.

Athens and Tirana re-opened negotiations to delineate maritime borders in the Ionian Sea in May 2018 and resolve other bilateral issues.

In October 2018, the then outgoing foreign minister Nikos Kotzias announced Greece was ready to extend its territorial waters in its western flank from 6 to 12 nautical miles.

The move concerns the sea region extending from the Diapontia Islands, a cluster of small islands in the Ionian Sea, to Antikythera, an island lying between the Peloponnese and Crete.

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