Fredi Beleri's case has once again brought back the debate about Himara and whether the Himariots are Albanians or minorities (Greeks).
In response to Fredi Beleri's arrest, Athens called Himara "the most important center of the Greek ethnic minority", while Tirana does not accept this ethnic definition, stressing that "Himara is Albanian land".
The lawyer of International Law, Agron Alibali, brought today a fact for this argument: a document of the French Navy in the Peace Treaty at the end of the First World War, where it is clearly stated that the population in the area of ??Himara is Albanian.
In the document of the official of the French Navy it was said that the population that extends from Valona to Corfu is Albanian, but because of the Orthodox faith, Greece is inclined to consider them as Greeks.
"These Albanians are of the Orthodox faith and for this reason there is a tendency to consider them as Greeks. It is a very important testimony from a captain of a French ship, from an official of the French Navy, who is an expert and reports the truth to his country. And it should be taken into account that the tendency of France at that time is to support Greek theses in South Albania", said Alibali in a television interview.
But what is written in the French document?
"I would like to tell the commission that the reasons that push Greece to claim the coast that stretches from Wallona to Corfu are of a military nature. Greece cannot be pushed by the needs of its emigration, nor by ethnic and commercial reasons. Regarding immigration, if Greece gets the territories it wants in Thrace, in Macedonia, in Asia Minor, in the Dodecanese, its immigration will not be concentrated in this small stretch of coast that goes from Wallonia to Corfu. From an ethnic point of view, the population of this entire region, as I was able to understand during the long months I spent there, is entirely Albanian. These countries in Albania are Orthodox and for this reason we tend to consider them as Greek".