Albania wants the remains of Nobel Peace laureate Mother Teresa and the only post-independence monarch to be returned to the country, the prime minister said on Friday.
Mother Teresa’s remains are in India and King Ahmet Zog’s in France. Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s government has asked India for the Roman Catholic nun’s remains to be returned by her 100th birth anniversary in August.
Mr. Berisha said Albania has started negotiations with India’s government, which “will be intensified this year.“
Macedonia and Albania have been engaged in a dispute over the national identity of Mother Teresa, who was born in Macedonia to an ethnic Albanian family. She went to Calcutta, India, in 1929, and dedicated herself to the service of the poor and infirm, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
After her death in 1997, she was buried in Calcutta and Pope John Paul II beatified her in 2003. Albania’s main airport outside the capital, Tirana, is named after Mother Teresa.
Zog was the small Balkan country’s first and only post-independence monarch, reigning from 1928 to 1939, when he fled after Albania’s occupation by fascist Italy. He died in France in 1961, and is buried at the Thiais Cemetery near Paris.