FM calls for release of Himare mayor

FM calls for release of Himare mayor

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias reiterated on Wednesday that the newly elected ethnic Greek mayor of Himare in Albania, Fredi Beleri, must be released and that he does not understand the continuation of his detention. 

Speaking to Star TV, Dendias said that this way Greece and Albania will remain “good friends,” expressing hope that there will be complete transparency and that the Albanian side will handle the issue with a sense of the seriousness of the crisis this issue could create in Greek-Albanian relations. 

“We are neither pushing nor shouting. We want friendship, but not for any price,” he stressed. He also made it known that on Monday he will go to Brussels to participate in the European Union Foreign Ministers’ Council, where he will raise the issue of the detention of the mayor. In addition, he will also participate in a lunch with the foreign ministers of the Western Balkans. 

“As this is an extremely serious matter, I will be in Brussels on Monday morning. There we will have a lunch with the foreign ministers of the Western Balkans… The issue must be raised at the Council of Ministers. It is not possible not to raise it. Detaining a mayoral candidate 48 hours before elections and keeping him in custody after he has been elected is not normal… Why is he being detained? What is this element of his dangerousness that necessitates his prolonged detention? These are big questions,” he pointed out. 

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