Albania’s constitutional court accepted on Thursday an appeal by the opposition Socialist Party to review the legality of a territorial agreement with Greece, which delineates the continental shelf between the two countries in the Ionian Sea.
The agreement signed by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis in late April in Tirana, created a stir of controversy in the local media which accused the Albanian government of giving 225 square kilometers of its territorial waters to its southern neighbour.
The media accused Berisha and the Ministry of Defense of not delineating the division of the continental shelf according to the equidistance principle of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, on which the agreement was based, a charge which the Ministry of Defense has flatly denied.
In a statement released on the Thursday the court announced that it will hold the hearing on the constitutionality of the agreement on 8 December. It also suspended the procedures for the ratification of the agreement in parliament until a final decision is reached by the legal panel.