Edi Rama: We lay no territorial claims against Greece

23 November 2016
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In an interview to Skai TV and journalist Alexis Papachelas, Albanian PM Edi Rama said that there was no plan for the autonomy of Chamouria, an area in Greece disputed by Albanian nationalists. The Albanian PM stressed that the idea of a “Natural Albania” derived from those who feared it, adding that such a plan was neither “expected nor serious”. “I challenge you to search. There is no map of a ‘Greater Albania’ in any school book”, he told Papachelas. Commenting on the arrest of two Albanian government employees who were caught carrying maps depicting a “Greater Albania”, Rama responded that he did not think it was not “irredentist to inform your children about an area where Albanians used to live and tell people that there was an area called Chamouria, where Albanians used to live, where, unfortunately -and this is not something we are telling our children, but we see it- people are not even allowed to visit”. The Albanian PM clarified that his country had no expansionist territorial plans against Greece or any other neighbouring country. He also brushed off calls by some Greeks that the area of Chimara in southern Albania, and the wider region known as Northern Epirus by Greeks, a largely Greek-populated area could be granted autonomy. Finally, he denied that Turkey was behind the cancellation of the 2009 deal between Greece and Albania regarding the designation of the sea borders between the two countries.

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