“Greek – Albanian relations can only get better” – Alexandra Voudouri
Interviewed by Genc Mlloja, Alexandra Voudouri said she believed that now that Albania has begun its European journey, relations between Albania and Greece can only get better.
“Relations between Greece and Albania have certainly improved over the last couple of years, even though differences on various issues remain unresolved, mainly in relation to maritime borders. The Greek-Albanian bilateral relationship is already a fine example of how two neighbouring countries can forge close relations, despite their problems”, she noted. However, she added that: “The time has certainly come for the two countries to finally proceed with the arbitration agreement by which they will agree to bring their difference over maritime borders in the Ionian Sea to the International Court of Justice”. As she also stated, eventually progress on the issue will further improve relations and help alleviate suspicions in Athens about Tirana’s close relations with Ankara, and the usual narratives Albania plays to Turkish interests in the region.
Asked to comment on the recent flare up in the Western Balkans and a possible role for Athens, she noted that Greece needs to redesign its Balkan policy, since a more specific and clear strategy would eventually allow Athens to actively engage and cooperate with all the countries in the region, without exception.
In relation to Turkey, she noted that Ankara moved further away from European values when its European prospects were derailed, and that Turkey’s stance should alarm the EU vis-à-vis the Western Balkans, since it makes it necessary for the bloc to be honest about its commitment to the region.
Click to read the interview.