Tirana annuls border pact

Greece expressed concern yesterday following a decision by Albania’s constitutional court to annul an agreement between Tirana and Athens aimed at settling a longstanding disagreement between the two countries over their sea borders and continental shelf rights. Reacting to the news, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas spoke of «a negative development which displeases us.» In Tirana, Albanian Foreign Minister Ilir Meta said the government would respect the court’s ruling but expressed his conviction that it would not harm bilateral ties. The agreement, signed by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and then Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis in April 2009 in Tirana, was deemed by the court as unconstitutional «due to procedural and substantial violations.» The pact had been challenged from the outset by Albania’s Socialist-led opposition, which had accused Berisha’s government of a lack of transparency in its dealing with Athens.

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