Albania Denies It Gave Territory to Greece

resizer121Albania’s government flatly rejected reports by local media on Wednesday that during a recent meeting between Prime Minister Sali Berisha and his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis Albania ceded part of its territorial waters to Athens.

The two leaders signed an agreement on Monday, which has not yet been made public. However, local media have published reports that in it Albania gives 225 square kilometers of its territorial waters to its southern neighbor.

“We reject the unfounded, misleading and ill wishing inaccurate information published in an Albanian daily newspaper on the so-called “shrinkage of the strategic position of the Albanian state”, as an outcome of the signing of the Agreement on the Delineation of the Continental Shelf and the Maritime Zone Between the Republic of Albania and the Hellenic Republic,” said a joint-statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence.

“The Agreement signed by the Foreign Ministers, in the presence of the two Prime Ministers was made through a cautious negotiation process lasting for nearly a year, in the spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation, based on the will of both parties to have a fair delineation of the maritime border, under international law in this area and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea whereby both sides are signatories,” the statement adds.

According to the Albanian government the new measurements used to mark the continental shelf between the two countries were made employing the most advanced scientific methods and by the best experts in this field. The delineation registers 150 coordinates, which are joined in an unbroken line and define the maritime border between the two countries. They are absolutely equally distanced from the most extreme points of the land in each of the two countries.

“This agreement, which is already an important part of the bilateral legal frame observes strictly, fairly and equally the sovereignty and integrity of both countries,” the statement said.

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