Albania has not abandoned its efforts to place the “Tsam issue” on the table of ongoing talks with Greece.
As a Reuters piece reports thousands of Albanian Tsams gathered at a rally in front of the Greek Embassy compound in Tirana, where Shpetim Idrizi, the leader of the Tsam party, said they wanted first “an apology for thousands of Tsams killed at home, not in the battlefront.”
“We Albanians of Chameria do not want a revenge, we do not want a change of borders, we want an apology so we can be able to forgive and the two peoples can live peacefully and we can return to live in our homes. We are peaceful,” Idrizi said.
“We want to get back to our homes, to get back the status we had before we were violently removed. We do not ask for our properties, we want our homeland, and our homeland is Cameria,” Idrizi said.
Demonstrators held up placards reading “Chameria Genocide; We will never forget”.
After two rounds of talks between the foreign ministers of Greece and Albania, Greece’s Foreign Ministry “categorically” in late January denied statements by Albanian officials that the Tsam issue had been included in the talks.
The two countries have been negotiating to resolve bilateral matters that would open the doors of accession to the EU for Albania.
The Tsams were an Albanian speaking minority in Epirus who collaborated en masse with Axis occupiers in WW II, fleeing after the flight of the Germans from the Balkans. They were tried in absentia, found guilty of high treason and atrocities and their properties confiscated after the war.