Albania–Israel relations

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Albania–Israel relations
Map indicating locations of Albania and Israel


Marking Israel's 63rd anniversary in an Albanian synagogue

Albania–Israel relations refers to the diplomatic and cultural ties between Albania and Israel. Diplomatic relations between the countries were established on August 20, 1991. Albania has recognized Israel as a state since 1949.[1] Albania maintains an embassy in Tel Aviv and Israel has an embassy in Tirana.[2]


Albania was the only European country occupied by the Axis powers of World War II that ended World War II with a larger Jewish population than before the War.[3][4][5]

Not only did the Albanians protect their own Jews, but they provided refuge for Jews from neighboring countries.[6] The Albanians refused to comply and hand over lists of Jews. Instead they provided the Jewish families with forged documents and helped them disperse in the Albanian population.[7] Some 1,200 Jewish residents and refugees from other Balkan countries were hidden by Albanian families during World War II, according to official records.[8]

In 1999, Israel took in Kosovar Albanian refugees from the Kosovo War, providing them with medical care, food and accommodation.[9]


Albanian Ambassador Dates served
Dashnor Dervishi 1998-2000
Tonin Gjuraj 2005–2007
Qirjako Kureta 2007–2011
Bujar Skendo 2011—present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Albania and Israel in Accord To Establish Diplomatic Ties - New York Times
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sarner. Rescue in Albania: One Hundred Percent of Jews in Albania Rescued from the Holocaust, 1997.
  4. ^ "Muslim Family Who Hid 26 Jews in Albania from the Nazis Honored by ADL" [Anti-Defamation League|]
  5. ^ Escape Through the Balkans: the Autobiography of Irene Grunbaum (University of Nebraska Press, 1996)
  6. ^ Jews had a 100% survival rate in Albania during the one year Nazi[1] Archived January 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ ["What's New at Yad Vashem"|] Retrieved on 2009-01-02.
  8. ^ Israeli Historians Study How Albanian Jews Escaped Holocaust
  9. ^ Israeli aid around world disasters

External links[edit]