Spat with Albania ‘is closed’

Athens moved yesterday to close the book on a diplomatic spat that arose with Albania earlier this week and said that Greece wishes to improve ties with its northern neighbor. On Tuesday, President Karolos Papoulias cut his trip to Albania short when 150 demonstrators prevented him from holding a meeting with his local counterpart in Saranda. Greece said that the local authorities failed to properly provide security for the meeting, while Albania claimed that Papoulias’s decision to leave was hasty and unprecedented. The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said that the incident is considered closed. «Athens wishes to strengthen bilateral relations and hopes that Albania desires the same,» Koumoutsakos said. The protesters were Albanian Cams who are demanding compensation for family homes lost when thousands of the minority were expelled from Greece after World War II, accused of collaboration with the Nazis.

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