Greece warned Albania of Turkey’s revisionism in the western Balkans during a visit of Greek FM Nikos Dendias to Tirana on Wednesday.
On the eve of Greek PM Mitsotakis’ visit to Albania, Dendias said after meeting his counterpart, Olta Xhaçka, that Albania has made a key choice: to become a member of the European Union, a choice that Greece enthusiastically supports.
“It [has chosen] to do what is self-evident: to place itself at the hard core of the European family,” the FM told the press, “and we Greeks believe that is where it belongs.”
However, he continued, this means the country has to decide on “a series of parameters” that serve the basic EU narrative.
Greece has a “great problem with Turkey’s revisionism”
“Greece does not have a problem with Turkiye itself, or with Albania’s collaboration with Turkiye, but it does have a great problem with Turkish revisionism, as with any revisionism,” Dendias said. “Therefore, any parameter must first serve the European idea, and then it must not allow the expression of revisionisms in the region.”
Dendias spoke of the emergence of “revisionist forces that wish to return to other times, other eras, and other perceptions.”
“These revisionist forces are attempting to approach the Western Balkans with the ultimate goal, I fear, not of cooperation,” he said, “but of creating spheres of influence that are not in line with the European acquis, the European perspective, or European values.”
Earlier this week, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his help in signing a deal with a Turkish company to buy three Bayraktar drones, which are widely used in the war in Ukraine.
“We signed an export contract with Albania, a country where we have walked for centuries and share strong historical, cultural and humanitarian ties,” the CEO of the Turkish drones company said in a statement.
Dendias’ visit to Tirana coincided with a statement made to EURACTIV by former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, who said Turkey “intervened” to cancel a 2009 Greece-Albania maritime deal.
“Turkey is no doubt a friend, a partner, but with a doctrine of neo-Ottomanism that I will not accept,” he said, referring to some six hundred years of Turkish Ottoman rule in the region.
Delimitation of the EEZ between Greece and Albania
Talks in Tirana also focused on the delimitation of the EEZ and the continental shelf between the two nations.
Dendias said that dialogue between Athens and Tirana must accelerate “in order to reach a compromise that will allow us to submit the special agreement referring the issue to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is carrying out a planned visit to Himare, Livadhja, and Dervician in southern Albania on Thursday. There, he will have meetings with members and representatives of the Greek ethnic minority in the neighboring country, the Prime Minister’s press office said.
The visit was originally scheduled to take place on December 7th but had to be postponed.