Efforts for Viable Solutions to Continue
Albanian Daily News
Published November 13, 2017
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Albania and Greece, Ditmir Bushati and Nikos Kotzias, held talks in Crete on November 10-12, 2017, focusing on open bilateral issues.
According to a joint press release, substantial work was carried out during the talks, which were conducted in a friendly and constructive atmosphere.
"Both sides acknowledged the importance of dialogue in resolving outstanding issues and agreed on further steps that need to be taken in order to reach positive outcomes on the basis of European values and norms, to the benefit of the two countries and their peoples," said the press release.
"The talks amounted to an important step forward and efforts to find viable solutions to longstanding problems will continue. In that light, it was agreed that the Ministers will meet again in the coming period, in Albania, in order to evaluate the progress achieved and decide on further concrete steps forward," ministries' press release concluded.
One day earlier, on Saturday, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Kotzias told journalists: "We are discussing open issues, as we want to resolve them today so that we can develop prospects for tomorrow. In parallel to this very intensive and continuous work, we decided to visit the site where Zeus was born and to where he abducted the beautiful Europa. It is in Europe's birthplace, essentially, that my colleague the Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and I are working. We want Albania, too, to become a member state of the EU."
Meantime, sources told Top Channel that a new maritime agreement is expected to be reached soon based on international law, following the abrogation of the 2009 agreement. Moreover, Athens urged the solution of the issue of graves of Greek soldiers, while, according to Top Channel, the Greek party asked for the Cham issue to be discussed in a later period. The parties have agreed to find a way that carries less negative load and to make the issue more acceptable to the Greek opinion.
In addition, ministers talked about school textbooks, while it has been learned that Athens requires the removal of references to the area of Chameria. Further on, Kotzias called for respect for Greek minority rights in Albania, while Bushati raised the case of abrogation of the war law, which holds hostage the properties of Albanian citizens and minority citizens with Albanian citizenship in the Greek territory. In this regard, parties agreed that there is a solution and legal formula, but it belongs to the Greek party which, according to Top Channel, vowed to come with an answer soon. The two ministers are expected to meet soon in Albania.