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Albania

Volume 77: debated on Thursday 18 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to make contact with the new Government of Albania; and if he will make a statement.

In 1980 we formally notified the Albanian Government that we were ready to re-establish diplomatic relations without preconditions. Regrettably, the Albanians have not accepted this offer which, as we have made clear, remains open. There has so far been no indication from the new Albanian leadership of any change in the Albanian position.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is now considering returning to Albania the gold currently held in the United Kingdom which was looted by the Nazis during the second world war; and if he will make a statement.

The Albanian Government have laid claim to gold which is the responsibility of the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold, on which the Governments of the United States and France are equal partners with Her Majesty's Government. There are several claims against Albania or on the gold itself. We cannot therefore act unilaterally in this matter.