President Pavlopoulos urges Albania for a proper burial for Greek soldiers fallen in battle on Albanian soil during the Greco-Italian war

President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos received the visiting Albanian Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta at the presidential mansion on Tuesday. During their discussion, Pavlopoulos noted that the peaceful, creative and sincere co-existence of two peoples was based on respect for history and international law.

The president called on Albania to respect the rights of its ethnic Greek minority and urged a solution for the still outstanding issue of arranging a proper burial for Greek soldiers fallen in battle on Albanian soil during the Greco-Italian war of 1940.

“They must find their graves. It is demanded by history, demanded by international law but chiefly by common humanity,” Pavlopoulos pointed out.

Greece had proved its sincere desire for coexistence with Albania, Pavlopoulos noted, during a difficult time for the neighbouring country when many Albanians had needed to come to Greece as legal immigrants, while a sizeable Albanian community still remained in Greece. It had demonstrated respect for the human rights of those coming to Greece from other countries, in the same way that it expected respect for the Greek minority in Albania, in line with international law, he added.

Meta thanked the president for his warm welcome and invited him to visit Albania. “We must be prepared to build exemplary relations with Greece,” he said, while asking Greece to support Albania’s efforts to join the European Union.

“Our relations must be brotherly, as relations between Greeks and Albanians are today, not just in Albania but also here in Greece. These very close relations that have developed over the past 26 years oblige us to radiate only positive energy, and to approach the problems we have inherited calmly and in a constructive way, in accordance with European standards and values,” he said.