approach to the West. However, they could never get over their anti-Western bias. Enver Hoxha (see Hoxha, Enver) tried to re-establish relations with West European countries, but he did not approach the United States.
In 1971, Albania exchanged ambassadors with Yugoslavia and Greece. Between 1970 and 1975, Albanian trade with Western Europe quadrupled, and diplomatic contacts multiplied. After 1979, Albanian economic relations with Western Europe as well as with select East European states such as Romania, intensified. Eastern Europe gradually replaced China as the main market for Albanian products. However, foreign trade remained of low volume since Albania had no hard currency and its constitution forbade the solicitation or acceptance of loans from abroad. As a consequence, the slowly expanding trade relations did not result in the improvement of the Albanian economy.
Biberaj Elez, Albania: A Socialist Maverick ( Boulder, CO, 1990).
Xoxhe, Koci ( - 1949). A member of the Yugoslav Communist party, he was delegated by Josip Broz Tito to assist the fledgling Albanian Communist party in 1941. Eventually, he rose to the position of vice premier of Albania. He became a member of the Politburo of the Albanian Communist party and was appointed a secretary of the party's Central Committee. In 1946, Xoxhe was made minister of the interior on Yugoslav suggestion and organizational secretary of the Albanian Communist party. He was instrumental in 1946 in Albania's break with the Western powers; he was concerned that their diplomatic presence in Tirana would be an impediment to Albania's absorption into the Yugoslav federation.
As minister of the interior, Xoxhe was responsible for the brutal repression that dominated Albanian politics and society in the 1940s. He was a rival of Enver Hoxha (see Hoxha, Enver) and, for a long period of time, he seemed to have the upper hand in the Albanian Politburo. Xoxhe was also a supporter of the idea of a Balkan federation, a notion advanced by Georgy Dimitrov of Bulgaria. After the Stalin-Tito break, however, Xoxhe fell victim to Hoxha's tenacity. He was arrested in October 1948, tried in early 1949, and executed.
Pipa Arshi, Albanian Stalinism: Ideo-Political Aspects ( Boulder, CO, 1990).
Yugoslav-Albanian Relations. Albania's relations with the neighboring states of the Balkans were complicated after the conclusion of World War II. Most Albanian communist leaders were from the south and were, consequently, Tosks. The northern Gegs were fearful of interference in their affairs by neighboring Yugoslavia, while the southerners were wary of Greece and Bulgaria. When the Tosk leaders accepted the return of Kosovo province to Yugoslavia with its overwhelmingly ethnic Albanian Geg population, the nationalistic feelings of the northern Gegs were aroused. Nevertheless, the will of the Tosk leaders prevailed.