The Greek ambassador to Albania has been summoned by Tirana after police shot dead an ethnic Greek man on Albanian soil leading to protests, the latest incident to rock ties between the neighbors. Eleni Surani was called in on Wednesday after an Albanian tourism office was firebombed in Athens. There have also been protests in Athens and Thessaloniki over the incident this week. Tirana asked the Greek authorities to “condemn these acts which harm the climate of good neighborly relations between the two countries,” Albania’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Konstantinos Katsifas, who holds both Albanian and Greek citizenship, was killed on Sunday in a shootout with Albanian police in the southern village of Bularat. Bularat lies on the Albanian side of the border and is home to an ethnic Greek minority. According to Albanian authorities, police sought Katsifas after he fired a Kalashnikov in the air during a ceremony commemorating Greek soldiers who fought in World War II.
The 35-year-old refused to surrender and fired on police, leading to a 30-minute shootout. A video of Katsifas firing the automatic weapon in the village was broadcast by Albanian media. Athens has called for more information about the incident, while Tirana has said a thorough investigation is under way.
Albania and Greece have a number of diplomatic disputes over minority issues. The neighbors are also in negotiations to resolve a long-standing disagreement over their maritime borders.
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