From: Exit Staff
Pressure Mounts on Albanian Government after Greece Extended Territorial Waters

The Albanian President, opposition parties, and members of civil society have all asked the government to inform the public regarding its plan for the maritime delimitation with Greece.

Last week, Greece decided to extend its territorial waters from 6 to 12 nautical miles, whilst Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama strongly supported the neighboring country’s right to do so.

The two governments have agreed to have the International Court of Justice decide on the maritime delimitation between the two countries. Before the issue was taken to the court, Greece approved the extension of territorial waters.

Albania has the right to file a complaint with the United Nations about the issue, but Rama has stated that Greece has the full right to extend its waters, the issue is not related to the maritime delimitation, and it does not affect Albania at all.

On Tuesday, President Meta informed the public that he has asked the government for information regarding negotiations with Greece, which resumed in 2018.

“For any development that is directly related or affects the negotiation process for the delimitation of maritime space between the two countries, I have requested exhaustive information and full analysis of the Albanian government, according to the responsibilities that belong to it by law,” Meta stated today.

Rama replied shortly after, accusing the President of attempting to gain political points on behalf of his former party LSI, now in opposition. He insisted that Greece’s extension of territorial water has nothing to do with Albania or the process of maritime delimitation between the two countries.

The largest opposition party PD has also pressured Rama to be transparent. On Sunday, they specifically asked him to inform the public on the result of negotiations for maritime delimitation since 2013.

Furthermore, they asked whether during these negotiations the Greek government ever asked to extend its territorial waters from 6 to 12 miles, what was the government reaction to this, and if the extension affects Albania’s position in negotiations.

The PD also asked whether the Albanian government has analyzed the legal outcomes of the extension of territorial waters before giving their full support.

Lastly, they asked if the Albanian government should present its reservations in international fora regarding the extension, in case it affects Albania negatively.

Two other opposition parties, LSI and PDIU have also criticized Rama for lacking transparency.

A number of members of civil society, including the Albanian branch of Vetevendosje, have stressed the lack of transparency, and Rama’s arrogance regarding the issue.

Responding to critics on Monday, Rama tweeted against “ignorants” who throw “nationalist-folklorist mud” and accuse him of “selling out the country”. He assured the public that making an agreement behind closed doors in the 21th century’s Europe is impossible.

Read more: Rama Blasts Critics over Greece’s Extension of Territorial Waters