Tirana, 10 August 2020
Recalling its significance and special relevance to Albania, the Council of Albanian Ambassadors has been following with a great deal of attention and priority the latest intensive demarches of the Greek diplomacy for the delimitation of the Maritime Exclusive Economic Areas. Most recently, on 6 August, Greece signed such an agreement with Egypt, whereas on 8 June with Italy; likewise, these negotiations are expected to take place with Israel, Cyprus and Libya.
Likewise, a few days ago, the top Greek and Turkish leaders expressed in principle their readiness to resume the bilateral talks for the delimitation of the Maritime Exclusive Economic Areas in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Given the above-mentioned, in June and even a few days ago, the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr. Dendias stated in public that Greece will request the resumption of negotiations for an agreement on delimitation of the Maritime Areas with Albania, following the on signed in 2009 but nullified in 2010 by Albania’s Constitutional Court and two other failed attempts in 2017 and 2018.
On this occasion and due to the lack of transparency on this issue of exceptional political and public sensitiveness, the CAA draws the attention of the Albanian government and diplomacy to the proper consideration and in due time to this new defining momentum in the relations with neighbouring Greece. This makes it necessary for us be well prepared, with concrete and convincing alternatives and updates, in a well – coordinated manner with the high institutions and their relevant instances.
To this end, it is indeed a “Must” to start as early as possible the relevant consultations, the exchange of ideas and opinions on the preliminary alternatives in their proper formats with the expert teams, without political, party and other prejudices in the juridical, economic, military, technical, security and other aspects.
In addition, on the basis of more objective criteria, we do also suggest selecting and building a new all-inclusive, competent and specialized negotiating team.
It goes without saying that the scrutiny of the political deals that Greece, in particular, has drafted and will sign with the above-mentioned states is of primary importance. However, attention should be made to avoid any copy paste or mechanic references, bearing well in mind our conditions and circumstances, the technical, commercial, international law in general and the maritime one more specifically, and other specific issues.
The Council of Albanian Ambassadors takes this opportunity to emphasize that the various debates, discussions and suggestions on a possible agreement should not be made in haste and they should be free from exaggerated mediatization. Meanwhile, the upcoming negotiations for this deal, with their wide-ranging concrete and complicated problematics are of vital significance for our country’s interests; they are also equally important to further bilateral cooperation and relations with neighbouring Greece.
Likewise, the clear definition of goals and the good performance in this process may have its own effects on Albania’s EU accession negotiations. It common knowledge that a major political and diplomatic condition for each and every EU candidate state is to level out any difference or problem with its neighbours before it joins the EU.
Accordingly, the Council of Albanian Ambassadors expresses its firm belief and confidence that the Albanian government and diplomacy will step up their activity and efforts, accompanying this comprehensive process with the proper public information and transparency, certainly within the diplomatic ethics and rules.
Finally, since it has a number of renown ambassadors, who have been committed as long-serving and experienced professors and experts to the complex issues of the Maritime International Law and practice, the CAA is open and willing to render its modest contribution hereto.