In an interview with Athina 9,84 FM, Ioannis Armakolas talked about the importance of the EU–Western Balkans Summit, which is to be hosted by Albania for the first time, but also the messages the Greek prime minister’s visit to the neighbouring country and its Greek minority villages could send out.

“The EU wants to send the message that the Western Balkans’ European perspectives remain realistic,” he said, adding that the decision to host the Summit in Albania could be seen as a reward for its government’s alignment with EU foreign policy and for the reforms it has undertaken with a view to accession talks beginning officially in 2023.

Regarding the Greek Prime Minister’s upcoming meeting will his Albanian counterpart on the Summit’s sidelines, Armakolas said it could revive the idea of the arbitration agreement that would allow the two countries to refer the delimitation of their Exclusive Economic Zones to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, with a possible deadline set for concluding the technical discussions.

“Now, what we should look forward to from the two prime ministers is a shared vision that will bring the two countries closer together and allow Greece to significantly boost Albania’s EU accession course (…) so that it can become a member of the European family at some point, to both countries’ mutual benefit,” he said, adding that it is crucial the Prime Minister’s visit to the villages of the Greek minority should not be seen as interference in Albania’s political affairs, but rather as a collaborative move in the context of Albania’s European course and its respect for minority rights.

Click to read the article, in Greek.