Ho ricevuto questa email dall'Albanian American Civic League, di cui è presidente l'ex-membro del Congresso statunitense Joe DioGuardi.
Egli rende nota una lettera che lui stesso ha scritto all'ex ministro della difesa Frattini a proposito dell'incontro diplomatico tra Italia, Grecia e Albania a Tirana, durante il quale l'Italia avrebbe sostenuto la posizione della Grecia ritenuta da DioGuardi condannabile in quanto avversa al popolo albanese e alla stessa politica di integrazione dell'Unione Europea.
Mi sembra un argomento interessante e importante.
In September, Joe DioGuardi sent a letter to the Italian ambassador to the United States about the visit to Tirana of Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis. He wrote out of concern that the joint visit “seemed to benefit the Greek nationalist agenda in Albania rather than the EU integration agenda,” which was its stated goal. Because of the many favorable responses that the Civic League received after the letter was published last month in the Albanian press, we have decided to share it with our membership.
Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi Joseph J. DioGuardi
Balkan Affairs Adviser President
DIOGUARDI'S LETTER TO ITALIAN AMBASSADOR IN WASHINGTON, DC
September 12, 2011
HE Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata
Embassy of Italy3000 Whitehaven St., NW
Washington, DC 20008
Re: Foreign Ministers Frattini and Lambrinidis—trip to Albania
Dear Ambassador Terzi,
I am writing in my capacity as a former Member of the U.S. Congress, having represented Westchester County, New York, in the House of Representatives from 1985 to 1989. My Congressional district included many Italian American and Albanian American constituents. I am also the founder and President of the Albanian American Civic League, a U.S. registered nonprofit organization that promotes the human rights and political freedom of Albanians in Southeastern Europe.
My father, Giueseppe DioGuardi, immigrated to the United States with his mother and sisters in 1929 from the small Albanian- and Italian-speaking village of Greci, which is located in the province of Avellino, not far from Naples. The inhabitants of Greci are part of the Italian Albanian (Arbëresh) minority in Italy descended from the Albanian army of George Castrioti (also known as Skanderbeg) that provided military assistance to the King of Naples in 1461 to defeat the invading French.
I understand that Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini is visiting Tirana today in the company of Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis “to encourage political actors in Albania to work together for the European integration of Albania.” While it is not my place to challenge the foreign policies and diplomatic actions of countries other than the United States, I wanted you and your government to know that I am disappointed about this joint visit because it seems to benefit the Greek nationalistic agenda in Albania rather than the EU integration agenda.
I think we can agree that, in spite of her current economic problems, Greece is an important ally of both the United States and Italy as a member of NATO and the European Union, and it remains a significant regional political and economic actor in Southeast Europe. Nevertheless, I am concerned that some important aspects of Greece’s foreign policy work against European integration in the region.
I also trust that the Italian government is cognizant of the fact that most of its policies and positions in the region are completely divergent from those of Greece. By way of example, Italy recognizes the Republic of Kosova; Greece does not. Italy has fully supported Macedonia’s membership in NATO; Greece voted against it. Italy exercises a constructive and peaceful policy in Albania; Greece, on the contrary, harbors veiled territorial designs against the country. Italy fully recognizes the minority rights of its Italian Albanian population; Greece refuses to grant similar rights to the ethnic Albanian minority of Greece (who are of the same ethnic origin, linguistic, cultural background, and religious denomination as the Arbëresh of Italy).
I am concerned that, under the pretext of EU integration, Greece is undertaking an unprecedented diplomatic campaign to advance her nationalistic program in Albania, which includes the following:
- Greece to this day refuses to recognize the human rights of the ethnic Albanian “Chamerian” minority in Greece. (As you may know, this minority is composed of Chamerians of the Orthodox religion, who live in Northwestern Greece, as well as Chamerians of the Islamic faith, who were subjected to terrible massacres, atrocities, and human rights abuses at the end of World War II and were forced to find life-saving refuge in Albania.)
- Greece still has to formally abolish the State of War Law with Albania, which was instituted in 1940 when Mussolini’s army occupied Albania.
- Greece has pressed Albania to approve two cemeteries in Southern Albania dedicated to Greek soldiers who perished during the Italian-Greek War of 1940-1941, while Italy has long ago returned and buried her own soldiers on Italian soil.
- Foreign Minister Lambrinidis’ during his recent visit to Prishtina reiterated his government’s refusal to recognize the Republic of Kosova. (He also issued a thinly veiled warning towards the Albanian Government in Tirana to ignore the Constitutional Court of Albania’s ruling, which threw out the Greek-Albanian Agreement on the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf in the Ionian Sea as a violation of the Albanian Constitution and the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea.)
- In spite of its unprecedented financial crisis, Greece continues to fund Greek language schools in Korça and Himara in Southern Albania and to pay retirement benefits and pensions to Albanian citizens who opportunistically declare themselves as “Greek.”
In conclusion, I feel strongly that the joint visit of Foreign Ministers Frattini and Lambrinidis to Tirana serves Greece’s regional agenda (not Italy’s) at this important time of desired European integration. Greece needs to address the existence and marginalized status of its own ethnic minorities, reverse its anti-European policies against Albania and Macedonia, recognize the Republic of Kosova, and commence affirmative action policies towards the Chamerian minority (and other ethnic minorities) in Greece. Only then, in my opinion, should Italy attach her immense goodwill in Southeastern European affairs to any Greek diplomatic initiative in Albania. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (914) 671-8583.
Sincerely, Joseph J. DioGuardi
cc: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chair, Committee on Foreign Affairs