Friday, September 30, 2022

Greece and Albania apply to The Hague for maritime zones

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, and the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama. Photography by Hellenic Republic – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

By Eleni-Vasiliki Bampaliouta.

Greece and Albania have agreed to refer the dispute over the demarcation of maritime zones to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The agreement was announced during Nikos Dendias’s visit to Tirana by Greek Foreign Minister and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

An important decision, as long as the process is not involved again in the political situation in Albania, can remove the impasse that has arisen since 2009 with the annulment by the Albanian Constitutional Court of the Agreement signed by the two countries and at the same time contribute to consolidate the need to resolve demarcation issues through dialogue and the International Court of Justice in The Hague. An important element is that any appeal to The Hague after the extension of the territorial waters of Greece to 12 n.m. means that a significant part of the EEZ in which Greece would exercise sovereign rights, becomes a Greek coastal zone where Greece exercises full sovereignty.

Following the agreements with Italy and the Partial Demarcation Agreement with Egypt, the Agreement with Albania on the referral to The Hague creates a significant “diplomatic mass” against the Turkish revision and its pursuit of imposing sanctions instead of the border demarcation dialogue. .

The referral of the issue of the delimitation of the maritime zones between Greece and Albania in The Hague, gives way to the Albanian political system to have a solution by an independent third judicial body such as the International Court of Justice and thus overcome the obstacles raised by the Constitutional Court of Albania that perfectly reflected the Turkish interpretations of the Law of the Sea. Until now, any attempt at negotiation fell on this decision and as in Albania there is no established Constitutional Court, as a result of the political crisis and the conflict between Prime Minister E. Rama and President I. Meta.

The elections in April are particularly difficult for the political climate in Albania. The oxymoron is happening in Albania, Mr. Rama who as the leader of the opposition in 2009 appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul the Agreement signed by the then political leadership Berisha-Basha accusing them of “selling out” the interests of the country, now that tries to promote the resolution of the dispute as prime minister, he accepts the same accusations from Mr. Berisha and I. Meta. However, with Albania’s European course at a critical juncture, there is a strong lever of pressure in Tirana.

About the author:

Eleni-Vasiliki Bampaliouta – Experienced journalist  and writer, specialist in politics and diplomacy, extended list of interviews to top politicians from Europe, Africa and Middle East. Permanently working in Politic.gr, London Greek Radio and Epikaira. Press manager of the International Association for Greek Philosophy.

  • twitter: @babalioutaeleni
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