As part of the global diplomatic effort to get international attention for the cause of Chameria, a delegation travelled to Italy for a ten-day mission to meet with government officials. The delegation visited the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Italian Senate. Furthermore, the delegation travelled to the independent countries of Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican where INEX president Yohan Byrde and Chamerian president Festim Lato presented diplomatic letters to the governments of the various republics.
For many years Chameria was completely unknown to most people. The opponents of the rights of the Cham people were highly successful in deleting the centuries’ old history of Chameria from the international collective consciousness. Efforts made by individuals to re-organize the people around the Cham issue during the past few decades resulted in some successes, especially in Albania and among the Albanian- and Chamerian diaspora. The declaration of independence on 30 October 2016 and the cooperation between the Chamerian government and InterNations Exchange which started at the end of June 2017, led to a much needed internationalization of the Chamerian struggle. This brought the issue for the self-determination of Chameria to the next level.
The crucial step towards international diplomatic and political recognition of the historical rights of Chameria continues with this ten-day mission in August 2017 to Italy, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican. The four person delegation, consisting of INEX president Yohan Byrde, Chamerian president Festim Lato, as well as Mr Rrustem Geci and Mr Jeroen Zandberg visited these four countries and met with various government officials.
In the Principality of Monaco the delegation visited the Prince’s palace and was able to meet with the Prince’s Chief of the Guard and Senior Commander who represents Monaco as the second ranked official after the Prince. The delegation presented an official diplomatic letter about the situation of Chameria, requesting assistance from the Prince in getting the case on the international agenda. The delegates were also invited to sign the official diplomatic guest book of the Prince.
In Rome, the delegation visited the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Senate, to inform politicians and government officials of the struggle of Chameria and request for their assistance. The delegation was given the opportunity to explain the situation in great detail and was met with great curiosity about the specific historical events and claims surrounding Chameria. This is also very important in light of the fact that there is a large diaspora of more than a million people of Albanian and Chamerian descent living in Italy.
In the mission to get as much international support for the cause of Chameria as possible, the delegation also travelled to the Vatican. The delegation was warmly welcomed there by a representative of the Pope. The diplomatic letters, as well as the book on the history of Chameria, written by Chamerian president Festim Lato and Mr. Rrustem Geci, were presented to the Inspector General. He informed the delegation that the Holy Father would read the diplomatic letters and that there would be a possibility of a private audience at a later date.
Finally, the delegation visited the mountainous country of San Marino, which is one of the oldest republics in Europe. The delegation had meetings with government officials from various ministries to discuss the strengthening of political and diplomatic ties within the European Union and between San Marino and Chameria. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister responsible for European Affairs as well as the Director of Economic Affairs were so open to accept the diplomatic letters presented to them by the delegation and prepare their agenda’s for follow up meetings. This concluded a highly successful mission to get international support for Chameria.