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Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis hopeful Albania dispute will go to Hague

 kyriakos mitsotakis
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed hope on Tuesday that Albania “will do its part” in order to proceed with the signing of the Athens-Tirana agreement for the referral of their dispute concerning the delimitation of the two countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZ) to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Describing the dispute as “a debate that continues between our two countries with many legal complexities,” Mitsotakis nonetheless expressed confidence that “significant progress” has been made in recent months.
The Greek prime minister said moreover that there is “mutual understanding” with his Albanian counterpart Edi Rama, who, however, a few hours earlier in a television interview said that Greece entered the European Union by cheating – something he said he would never do on behalf of Albania.
Despite the political agreement to refer the dispute to The Hague, it still appears there is some way to go before Albania approves the process.
Athens had asked Washington and Berlin to mediate with Tirana in recent months in order to move the issue forward, but with no substantial results as no meeting at the technical level followed.
It remains to be seen whether the latest contacts in Tirana will provide the necessary impetus to get the issue moving in the coming months.
A deal on the issue had been struck in 2009 but it subsequently foundered when Tirana backed down after invoking a constitutional impediment, which, in various ways, still exists.
Mitsotakis had been due to visit villages inhabited by the ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania on Wednesday, but the plan was canceled due to weather conditions which did not allow his helicopter to land there.