Stern message to Tirana over Beleri

[Dimitris Papamitsos/Prime Minister's Press Office]

The decision by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to invite the president of Albania, Bajram Begaj, tο an informal dinner of Western Balkan leaders in Athens on Monday rather than the neighboring country's premier, Edi Rama, is seen as a reflection of Greece's dismay with Tirana over the ongoing detention of ethnic-Greek Fredi Beleri, who has not been permitted to take office as mayor of Himare.

Beleri was detained on May 12 on allegations of bribing voters, a charge that he denies, and elected mayor on May 14 of Himare, a town in southern Albania populated predominantly by ethnic Greeks.

His repeated appeals lodged with the Tirana courts have been rejected. Greece has repeatedly protested his continuing detention.

Diplomatic sources told Kathimerini that the Greek prime minister's decision is a diplomatic way to show not only to Rama, but also to the other...

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