Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama will fly to Athens, Greece, a few hours after completing his visit to Turkey. He will meet in private with his counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis, after a previous meeting with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, according to the Greek media.
The Albanian government has issued no information about the visit. The same was noticed with Rama’s unexpected visit to Turkey, which was announced only by the Turkish President’s office, while the Albanian government kept silent. A phone call between him and the Greek foreign minister before his departure to Ankara was also announced only by the latter.
In their official announcement of Rama’s visit at President Erdogan’s invitation, the latter’s office said “the current regional and international developments will be conferred about” in the meeting between the two leaders.
Rama’s urgent trip to Turkey came after the Greek government decided to extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea from 6 to 12 nautical miles, after it had agreed with the Albanian government on the move. Before the decision was put to vote in the Greek Parliament on January 11, Rama was invited by Erdogan in Ankara.
The Albanian and Greek leaders have also agreed to take their maritime delimitation issue to the International Court of Justice, once the extension of Greece’s territorial waters is complete.
Rama has been criticized by the civil society and opposition for lack of transparency regarding the issue. He has chosen to disregard their questions, and has instead insisted that it’s Greece’s right to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles, and that it doesn’t affect Albania at all.
The Albanian government has issued no statement regarding Rama’s talks with Erdogan on “the current regional and international developments”.
Turkey and Greece have ongoing disputes regarding their maritime delimitation.
This will be the second time Rama unexpectedly visits the Greek and Turkish leaders after meeting with one of them. In September 2020, after it was announced that he was set to meet with Mitsotakis in Greece, he flew to Turkey the next day to meet with Erdogan in private.
It’s not clear whether Rama will fly back to Albania from Turkey before departing to Athens tomorrow, or fly there directly from Ankara, where he completed his two-day visit today. No public information has been made available by his office.