Albania makes Greek-Cypriot politician and 52 Greek citizens ‘personae non-gratae’

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 12, 2018 10:21

Albania makes Greek-Cypriot politician and 52 Greek citizens ‘personae non-gratae’

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  • Dervishi called Theocharous’ calls and statements an organized show that was made to look like an aggressive provocation, which turned a funeral service into a challenge of the constitutional order and Albania’s safety and security - all things unacceptable for the Albanian state and society.

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TIRANA, Nov. 11 – The Albanian foreign ministry announced on Friday the Cypriot, Euro Parliamentarian Eleni Theocharous is now a ‘persona non-grata,’ after the latter attended on Thursday the Greek minority member’s Kostantinos Katsifas funeral service in Bularat, Gjirokaster, where she issued extremist, anti-Albanian calls, according to Albanian authorities.

On Thursday, the defense ministry also announced 52 out of the many Greek citizens who attended the funeral service are also ‘personae non-gratae,’ for the same reason.

“This decision comes as a necessary constitutional and legal reaction of the institutions of the Republic of Albania towards the repeated extremist behavior of Euro Parliamentarian Eleni Theocharous. Her statements which incite hatred, violation of the country’s constitutional order and encouragement of territorial claims towards the Republic of Albania cannot and will not be again called on Albanian soil,” said Glen Dervishi, Regional Adviser to the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati.

Further on, Dervishi called Theocharous’ calls and statements an organized show that was made to look like an aggressive provocation, which turned a funeral service into a challenge of the constitutional order and Albania’s safety and security – all things unacceptable for the Albanian state and society.

The Greek foreign ministry quickly reacted to the announcement, asking for sound explanations.

“At this delicate moment, we expect Albania to stay away from acts which further burden the atmosphere of our bilateral relations,” the Greek ministry announcement read.

On Friday, the Albanian foreign ministry was quick to issue a reply to official Athens, where, through Dervishi, said neighboring Greece and its people are a valuable asset to Albania’s capital of traditional ties and friendship.

Extremist elements or groups which, in Greek, or even in Albanian, speak a common language of hatred and division not related to the European language that unites our peoples and states, will have no chance to undermine our common path of peace and strategic cooperation in function of the future today’s children in Albania and Greece deserve,” Dervishi said.

On the other hand, the defense ministry’s statement which announced 52 Greek citizens are now also “personae non-gratae” explained it was a reaction to the organized activity aiming to harm Albania’s sovereignty and challenge the constitutional order and the country’s security.

In the European Parliament, Theocharous is part of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. On Thursday, she joined several hundreds of Greek citizens to attend the funeral service of Kostandino Katsifas, who was killed during a shootout with special Albanian police forces who were gathered in Bularat to maintain order during the festivities honoring the fallen Greek soldiers during the Albanian-Italian war.

Strong nationalist tones and anti-Albanian calls prevailed during the burial ceremony on Thursday, while a group of Greek citizens temporarily also blocked the highway caring an unfolded Greek flag.

The tensions that followed Katsifas’ death in Albania came at a time the countries seemed to have decided to leave their tensioned-at-timed relationship and begin a process of political dialogue to solve all pending issues between them.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 12, 2018 10:21