The recent detention of Dionysis-Fredi Beleri, a mayoral candidate for the Albanian city of Himare with ties to the Greek minority in Albania, has led to tensions between Greece and Albania. Beleri was arrested by Albanian police on charges of vote-buying just two days ahead of local elections.
The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement demanding his release, suggesting that the case could negatively impact Albania's bid to join the European Union.
The ministry argued that Beleri's arrest was not within the rule of law and that it violated the principles of equality in the municipal elections in Himare, which is a significant center of the Greek national minority in Albania.
Albanian Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka responded to the statement by saying that she found it "nearly impossible to understand how our friends have the right to dispute a court decision in our country" and that the evidence against Beleri was clear. Relations between Greece and Albania have been strained in the past, particularly over issues related to minority rights and the large Albanian community in Greece.