Greece, Albania discussing EEZ, not land border

The land border between Greece and Albania is not among the issues being discussed between the two countries, sources from the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday, in response to suggestions to that effect on Thursday by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

“The two countries are not discussing their borders, as those have been determined by international agreements and no negotiation is taking place over them,” the sources said.

In May 2018, the two countries reopened negotiations to delineate maritime borders in the Ionian Sea and resolve other bilateral issues.

The same sources said Athens and Tirana signed a friendship agreement in 1996, in which they proclaimed their respect for the inviolability of existing borders.

Speaking during an interview with Albania’s Vizion Plus TV on Thursday, Rama appeared to suggest that Athens and Tirana are in talks over potential border changes.

The comment was made in the context of negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo over a land swap as a way of ending a long-running dispute between the two countries.

“What is it that we are discussing with Greece today? The border. What did Kosovo and Montenegro discuss and achieve? The border. Why is it that the border between Kosovo and Serbia should not be discussed? It will surely be discussed [whether] you like it or not. A [border] demarcation process will take place in this case too,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos said Friday that Greece was ready to extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea in the summer.

“This will help negotiations with Italy and Albania to demarcate our [exclusive] economic zone (EEZ).”

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