Question of recognition of an Albanian government in exile

[The United States did not recognize the annexation of Albania by Italy in 1939. For correspondence on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1939, volume II, pages 365 ff. In a statement to the press, December 10, 1942, on continued resistance of Albania to Italian occupation, the Secretary of State reaffirmed the policy of the United States of non-recognition of Italian annexation and called for the restoration of a free Albania. See Department of State Bulletin, December 12, 1942, page 998.

On January 20, 1943, Mr. Peter V. Kolonia, an Albanian citizen, called at the Department of State, stating that he had been appointed “Acting Representative” in Washington of King Zog. He requested the Department to extend recognition to King Zog as head of the Albanian Government in exile. Mr. Kolonia was informed that recognition of a particular group outside of Albania would raise the question of which group actually represented the Albanian people and that it was the Department’s policy to postpone political questions of this nature until the people of the occupied country involved would have an opportunity to express themselves when liberated. (701.7511/56)

On March 30, 1943, President Roosevelt referred to the Department of State for preparation of a reply a letter of March 4 from Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., Ambassador and Minister at London to several governments in exile, enclosing a letter of February 19 from King Zog to Mr. Biddle expressing the King’s readiness to send a representative to Washington to effect the re-establishment of normal relations between the United States and Albania. On May 1, the Department sent to President Roosevelt for his signature a reply instructing Mr. Biddle to thank King Zog for his friendly sentiments but to tell him that “the occupation of his country makes it impractical to define our policy with respect to the future government of Albania beyond the broad outlines of the Secretary’s statement of December 10.” This letter, as signed by the President and sent to Ambassador Biddle, was dated May 3, 1943 (711.75/20).]