“We are witnessing the start of a new chapter in Greek-Albanian relations” – Alexandra Voudouri
Commenting on the visits of the Greek Prime Minister to Albania and the Greek Foreign Minister to Tirana, Alexandra Voudouri told Linda Karadaku that she sees “the start of a new chapter in Greek-Albanian relations”, since it seems both political leaderships are keen to get their relation on a new track, especially following the start of Albania’s EU accession talks.
On the issue of Greece and Albania’s agreement in principle to put the issue of their maritime borders before the ICJ, she said that Athens would like there not to be a repeat of 2009, when an agreement to the same effect was annulled by Albania’s Constitutional Court. Having the issue resolved by international arbitration will allow Athens to be confident the outcome will be respected, and that a strong message will be sent to Turkey on how Greece sees the way forward for the resolution of their differences. It would also, she noted, give Albania’s political leadership a way out, as the issue is currently part of a domestic political conflict. She stressed, however, that the time has come for both governments to begin explaining the pros and cons of a legal process of this sort to their respective publics, since examples from the past (i.e the Prespa Agreement) have shown that the public needs to understand the outcome of any negotiation both before and after it is concluded.
The interview also focused on Greece’s re-activating its diplomacy in the Balkans with the appointment of a special envoy to the region, Athens’ concerns about and the role it proposes Greece plays with regard to the ongoing tension between Kosovo and Serbia, as well as the prospects for Greek-Turkish relations in 2023.
Click to watch the interview (after 10: 07’), in Albanian.