Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

Yugoslav counterparts was approved. Following up the meeting, Xoxhe called the Albanian Politburo into session in April, and proposed that a petition be drawn up, requesting Albania's admission to the Yugoslav federation. He also recommended the expulsion of Soviet military advisers from Albania and the merging of the armies of the two Balkan states. He also recommended the appointment of Yugoslav directors to joint Albanian-Yugoslav companies. At this time, however, Xoxhe's proposals were rejected by the majority. He then resorted to terror against his opponents. At the same time, the Stalin-Tito disputes grew in intensity. Hoxha, taking advantage of the situation ordered the closing down of the Yugoslav information center in Tirana. In June 1948, he banned the selling of Yugoslav newspapers in Albania. Albania unilaterally and abruptly terminated all economic agreements with Yugoslavia on July 1, 1948. All Yugoslav technical and military advisers were expelled from the country.

Albanian radio and newspapers began a vicious anti-Tito campaign. Soviet technicians and military advisers replaced the Yugoslav personnel. Hoxha then proceeded to restore Shehu and Belishova to their former positions. In turn, Xoxhe was now removed from his posts in the party and the ministry of the interior.

On October 31, Xoxhe and many of his supporters were arrested. The following year, he was put on trial and executed Many of his followers' turns came soon thereafter.

During the 1960s, Yugoslav-Albanian relations fluctuated. Sometimes it appeared that there would be reconciliation, at other times relations turned cool again. During the 1970s, however, Albania slowly began to improve relations with its northern neighbor. Between 1975 and 1980, trade increased and diplomatic relations were renewed on the level of legations. The Albanians did not raise the question of Kosovo. Hoxha made it clear that the destabilization of Yugoslavia was not in the best interest of Albania.

After Hoxha's death in 1985, Ramiz Alia (see Alia, Ramiz) seemed more interested in renewing Albania's Yugoslav ties; nevertheles he was also more closely identified with the cause of the Kosovo Albanians. The world can expect further disputes between the remnants of Yugoslavia and the Albanian state over this issue in the future.


Bibliography

Lee Michele, "Yugoslavia's Albanian Crisis: Wrong Turn in Kosovo [sic]," Labor Focus an Eastern Europe, 5.1:51 ( London, 1988).

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