Albania–Serbia relations

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Albanian–Serbian relations
Map indicating locations of Albania and Serbia

Albania

Serbia

Albanian–Serbian relations are foreign relations between Albania and Serbia. Albania has an embassy in Belgrade.[1] Serbia has an embassy in Tirana.[2] Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). Serbia and Albania are both official candidate countries for EU accession.

History[edit]

Ottoman period[edit]

Palace Albanija in Belgrade, capital of Serbia

In the Ottoman period, Serbian diplomat Ilija Garašanin contacted the abbot of Mirdita, Msgr. Gasper Krasniqi, with the goal of acquiring the Albanian Catholic element as the alleged solution to the "Eastern Question".[3] However, their goals were different. While Garašanin considered those contacts as means for the realization of a Serbian exit to the Adriatic Sea, Krasniqi made effort to help Serbia to organize a revolution of the Albanian Catholic community, primarily Mirdita, against the Turks, for the political freedom and independence of Albania.[3][dead link]

Balkan Wars[edit]

At the beginning of Balkan Wars, one of the important strategic goals of Serbian politics was to acquire a corridor to the Adriatic Sea through northern Albania.[4][5] The First Balkan War found the Albanians as a nation fighting for its own national state. Though this 'fighting' is mostly figurative as the Albanian people were not involved in much direct combat instead preferring to allow the other people of the Balkans to fight while petitioning the 'great powers' for the establishment of their state.[6]

World War II[edit]

Communist project of post-war Balkan Federation.

During World War II, a very close cooperation developed between the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia and the People's Liberation Army of Albania. The Albanian People's Army assumed power in the country in 1944. Democratic Federal Yugoslavia was the first country to recognize the new government of Albania in April 1945.[7]

There were communist plans to create a Balkan federation which would include Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.[7] However, after the resolution of Informbiro 1948, Albania broke relations with the Yugoslav communists, because Enver Hoxha remained loyal to the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin.[7]

Yugoslav Wars[edit]

Main article: Yugoslav Wars

In June 1991, as the Yugoslav wars broke out, Albanian Foreign Minister Mehmet Kapllani visited Croatia. During this time, Ramiz Alia, President of Albania, began discussions with ethnic Albanian leaders in Kosovo. In July 1991 relations between Albania and Yugoslavia were strained. Yugoslav and Albanian leaders exchanged fire, and Serbian leaders accused Albanians of instigating unrest in Kosovo and not respecting frontier markers. The Yugoslav government released a statement accusing Albania of interfering in Yugoslavia’s internal affairs and warned Albania that Yugoslavia would react "decisively with all available means" to any challenges to its sovereignty.[8]

In a reversal of previous policies at the time, Albania improved relations with the Soviet Union and the United States to stop possible Serbian aggression and to stop the superpowers from exploiting unrest in Albania.[8]

In 1998, as Kosovo Albanian refugees were fleeing across the border into northern Albania, Albania had proved that Yugoslavia had executed a campaign of ethnic cleansing, and called on the international community to intercede.[9]

In 2008, after Kosovo proclaimed its independence, Albania was one of the first countries to recognize it. Serbia's reaction was that of recalling the Serbian ambassador for consultations in protest from any state recognising Kosovo.[10]

In March 2009, Vladimir Vukčević, Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor, asked Albania to reinvestigate claims that some of the Serbs who disappeared during the Kosovo conflict may have been killed for their organs in Albania.[11]

21st Century[edit]

At 2014 Conference of Western Balkan States in Berlin was announced future visit of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to Serbia. It will be the first meeting of this type between two countries after 1947 meeting of Enver Hoxha with President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito.[12]

Minority rights[edit]

In December 2008 Serbian police arrested ten former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), in an Albanian-populated area bordering Kosovo. Serbia's war crimes prosecution office stated that it had evidence that the ten KLA members had killed 51 people and kidnapped 159 civilians in Kosovo between June and October 1999. In January 2009 Albanian President Bamir Topi demanded that Serbia respect the Albanian minority in southern Serbia.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vandals damage Albanian embassy in Belgrade". BBC. March 29, 1999. 
  2. ^ "Serbian charge d'affaires prepares to quit Albania". BBC. February 20, 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. 
  3. ^ a b Prof. dr. Zef Mirdita, ALBANIA IN THE LIGHT OF SERBIAN FOREIGN POLICY[dead link]
  4. ^ Dimitrije Bogdanović: Knjiga o Kosovu
  5. ^ Aleksandar Bošković, Albanci kao metafora
  6. ^ First Balkan War.
  7. ^ a b c Milorad Komatina, Enver Hodža i jugoslovensko-albanski odnosi, Službeni list SRJ, Beograd 1995. godina
  8. ^ a b Keohane, Robert Owen; Joseph S. Nye; Stanley Hoffmann (1993). After the Cold War. pp. 369, 370. ISBN 978-0-674-00864-9. 
  9. ^ "World: Europe Albania accuses Serbia of ethnic cleansing". BBC. June 2, 1998. Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  10. ^ Archived April 8, 2008 at the Wayback Machine The economic team for Kosovo and Metohija and the South of Serbia, 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  11. ^ "Serbia asks Albania to probe organ trafficking". Associated Press. March 2, 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  12. ^ Radio Television of Serbia. "Нећемо бити између чекића и наковња" (in Serbian). Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Albania urges Serbia to respect minority rights". 8 January 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 

External links[edit]