A sudden deterioration in the Greek-Albanian relations occurred on Wednesday morning short before Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos boarded on the plane to take him to Tirana. Cause for the incident were provocative statements by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha who claimed that part of Western Greece, Preveza (Epirus) were Albanian.
Sali Berisha: [Citizens of Avlona] “proclaimed on 28. November 1912 the independence of Albania, the independence of ethnic Albania, of the Albania of all Albanian territories from Preveza to Presevo, from Skopje to Podgorica.”
The provocative statement of Berisha, posing assertion of part of Greek terriroty (Preveza) triggered the angry reaction of FM Avramopoulos who immediately canceled his trip to albania and issued the following statement:
“Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos cancelled at the last minute his visit to Tirana, expressing the discontent of the Greek government to the statements by Albanian Prime Minister on the occasion of today’s celebration.
Statements like these do not contribute to creating a climate of friendship, trust and good-neighborly relations between the two countries, and to develop joint initiatives in areas of common interest, such as the political, economic and energy sector. ” (mga.gr)
Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos was due to pay a visit to Tirana on Wednesday upon an invitation of his Albanian counterpart, to participate in the events marking the 100th anniversary of Albanian independence.
PS I wonder about the reaction of FYROM…