The Diplomacy of the Great Powers Towards Albania in the Context of the “Adriatic Question”

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Abstract This paper aims to analyze the factors that influenced the diplomacy of the Great Powers towards the Albanian question at the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920). Treated not as a special case, its fate was integrated with the solution of the “Adriatic question”, meaning the rivalry between Italy and Yugoslavia to exert influence over the Eastern Adriatic. Thus, the Great Powers didn’t respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Albania aimed at meeting its neighbors’ intentions, such as: the Italian sovereignty over Valona and the hinterland, and the mandate for a small autonomous state in the Central Albania; the Yugoslavian pretensions to the North part of Albania and the Greek claims for the so-called “Northern Epirus”. For that reason, the Great Powers reached political compromises and signed the memoranda of 9th December, 1919, and the agreement of 13th January, 1920, that foresaw the fragmentation of Albania between three neighboring countries. Fortunately, it was the decisive role of the American President, W. Wilson that separated the Albanian question from the Adriatic one and let it open to be discussed to other international forums.

Keywords: The Paris Peace Conference; the Great Powers’ diplomacy; the “Adriatic question”; the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Albanian state;


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