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Albania in favor of renewing 1996 friendship treaty with Greece

The Albanian government is in favor of renewing a 1996 friendship and cooperation treaty with Greece for another five years, Greek diplomatic sources said on Monday.

The Friendship, Cooperation, Good Neighborliness and Security Agreement was signed between the two countries on 21 March 1996 and had a 20-year initial duration, from the day of its implementation, which ended in 2018. It was then renewed for a period of five years, until 2023.

With the treaty, Athens and Tirana proclaimed the inviolability of borders, respect for sovereignty,  individual rights, minorities and emigrants, while emphasizing the European perspective of both countries.

This development is part of the steadily improving climate in relations between the two countries, which was proved during a visit by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to Tirana in October 2020, as well as his recent meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Tirana a few days ago, the same sources said.

In a sign of improving bilateral ties, the two countries reopened negotiations in May 2018 to delineate maritime borders in the Ionian Sea and resolve other bilateral issues and in October 2020, they announced that they had agreed to take a dispute over their sea borders in the Ionian Sea to the International Court of Justice.

Greece and Albania had signed a maritime border deal in 2009 but it was challenged in Albania’s constitutional court which nullified the agreement almost a year later.