Memorie.al publishes some archival documents extracted from the Central State Archive, in Tirana (the fund of the former Central Committee of PPSh), which belong to 1972 and are part of a file labeled “Top Secret”, where there is a long correspondence between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tirana, the Albanian embassy in Rome and the Central Committee of the PPSh, where, among others, there is an information report drawn up by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Tirana, Nesti Nase, sent to the Central Committee of the PPSh, regarding the appointment of the new Albanian ambassador in Rome, Skender Konica, instead of Xenofon Nushi, which had brought great diplomatic problems between the two countries, after only a few days after that appointment and the Italian government’s approval of Skender Konica’s candidacy, the Bulletin O.P.I., (Osservatore Politico Internazionale), directed by the well-known lawyer, Mino Pecorelli, had debunked him, as an espionage expert and former officer the head of the State Security, who was also expelled by the Turkish government (as an undesirable person), during the time he headed the Albanian embassy in Anakara, etc. Regarding this, the document in question states, among others: “We have not yet given you an answer. It is also worth noting the fact that, a few days before the approval, the daily O.P.I. (Osservatore Politico Internazionale) among the various announcements, gave the news with the title: “Albanian ambassador in Rome, called to the homeland”, which among other things says: “The place of ambassador Xenofon Nushi will be taken by Skënder Konica, senior officer of State Security (Albanian Secret Police), who also served in Italy, a few years ago as Secretary of the Legation.
The document with the report-information drawn up by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nesti Nase, sent to the Central Committee of PPSh, regarding the problem that had arisen with the appointment of the new Albanian ambassador in Rome, after the O.P.I. Bulletin, (Osservatore Politico Internazionale) , had debunked it, as a former senior officer of the State Security
I N F O R M A T I O N
Regarding the appointment of friend Skënder Konica, we consider it necessary to announce the following:
1 – On the occasion of the transfer to the Center of Comrade Xenofon Nushi, we came up with the proposal to appoint Comrade Skënder Konica in his place as ambassador to Italy. This proposal was made, based on the fact that Comrade Skënder Konica, for several years in a row, leads the Fourth Directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which covers Italy as well as many issues that we have had with this country and that have been addressed from him, with the Italian ambassador in Albania.
We also started from the fact that he knows the situation in Italy and our country’s relations with this country. After the approval of this proposal, we took the relevant actions with the Italian side. On February 8 of this year, comrade Xenofon Nushi notified the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about his transfer and at the same time asked for approval for comrade Skënder Konica. After 20 days, on February 28, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs notified our embassy in Rome of the granting of the agreement.
On the other hand, on March 1, the Italian ambassador in Tirana, during the meeting with the Head of the Protocol Branch at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, submitted note No. 371 dated February 29, 1972, where it was announced that the President of Italy grants the approval to Comrade Skënder Konica. It draws your attention to the fact that in this meeting, unlike the other times when the consent of our ambassadors has been communicated to us, the Italian ambassador by order from Rome, wanted to know if we agree that the Italian side, after a few days, will give the announcement to the press on the appointment of the new Albanian ambassador.
He added that they cannot make a press release without first getting our consent on this issue. We haven’t given you an answer yet. It is also worth noting the fact that, a few days before the approval, the daily O.P.I. (Osservatore Politico Internazionale) among the various announcements, gave the news with the title: “Albanian ambassador in Rome, called to the homeland”, which among other things says: “The place of ambassador Xenofon Nushi will be taken by Skënder Konica, senior officer of of the State Security (Albanian Secret Police), who also served in Italy a few years ago as Secretary of the Legation.
The appointment of Konica has caused outrage and has been widely contested. In fact, this person is known as an espionage expert and has been declared a person undesirable by Turkey, where the latter headed the Albanian embassy in Ankara.
In the diplomatic premises of the Italian capital, it is not possible to understand the purpose of this appointment on the part of the official Tirana, precisely at the moment when the economic relations between the two countries are very good (more for Tirana than for Rome). The new Albanian ambassador, in addition to being expelled from Turkey, has also caught the eye for numerous movements in the USA, where he was part of the Albanian delegation to the UN.
The O.P.I. Bulletin, directed by a man named Mino Pecorelli who is also known to our embassy friends in Rome, based on the explanations he makes at the end of each issue, advertises itself as a private and independent publication. But from the data available to our embassy, it appears that this Bulletin is published under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of the Interior.
We also note that the newspaper “Free Albania”, organ of the criminal organization “Committee of Free Albania”, in its September-October issue of last year, published an article entitled: “Diplomats of Tirana”, in in which attacks and slander are made against some of our fellow diplomats who have worked or are still working abroad, in the Intelligence sector. For Comrade Skënder Konica, this article states: “Here we are bringing only a few international scandals that openly reveal the agent activity of these “diplomats”.
So years ago, a certain Skënder Konica, who served as First Secretary of the Albanian embassy in Rome, was forced to return to Albania, at the request of the Italian government, for espionage activities between Albanian emigrants and the Albanian colony in Italy. He was then promoted to Turkey as”ambassador”, where after a while, he returned to Albania at the request of the Turkish government, after Konica’s provocative behavior towards the Albanians of Turkey, especially those of Kosovar origin.
2 – Looking at the above, we come to the conclusion that: the publication of the material on Skënder Konica in the O.P.I. Bulletin, during the time when the Italian authorities were considering his agreement, is not a coincidence. If we take into account the unusual character of the intervention made in the Ministry, by the Italian ambassador regarding the publication in the press on their part of the news, about the new Albanian ambassador, it is clear that the tendentious announcements of the O.P.I. Bulletin were made under the instigation of the Italian authorities, to communicate to our government.
In our opinion, with its attitude towards the issue of the appointment of Comrade Skënder Konica, the Italian side pursues certain goals. In the first place, with this, she will show us that she knows who the person is proposed by us for ambassador in Rome, while in the second place, the Albanian government putting a person in charge of its embassy of Political Discovery, shows that he views the Italian government’s policy towards Albania with suspicion and mistrust.
However, despite these things, official Rome was correct by giving its consent to the appointment of Comrade Skënder Konica as ambassador, but tactfully pointed out the remarks she has about him.
3 – After carefully analyzing this problem, we have come to the conclusion that: in submitting the candidacy for ambassador of comrade Skënder Konica, we were hasty and did not go deep enough. For our part, we should have studied this problem from all sides, and even more so for a friend who has been to Italy twice with work at our embassy, and who has dealt with agent intelligence issues with Italian citizens, from where the Italian government has been partially informed.
It was also necessary for us to stay more in the conjunctural assessment of Italian politics and our bilateral relations. Under these conditions, in order to identify various problems that may arise in the future, we have decided to act as follows in our relations.
The first variant: To cancel the sending of comrade Skënder Konica, as ambassador to Italy. In this regard, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Italian ambassador in Tirana, should be called to the ministry and told about what was written in the O.P.I. Bulletin, about Comrade Skënder Konica. To the ambassador, it should be pointed out that this action seems to be done for certain purposes by those circles that do not want the development of normal relations between our two countries.
And that with such actions, they seek to compromise the official position of Albania’s representative in Italy, to raise doubts about him both among Italian personalities and before the diplomatic corps in Rome. This is not difficult to understand considering the fact that the Bulletin in question is widely distributed in Italy, including the entire diplomatic body accredited in Rome.
It should also be noted to the Italian ambassador that the Italian government must take measures against the persons who are responsible for such impermissible actions that do not serve the development of relations between our two countries and at the same time be told that the government Albanian, taking into account the irresponsible compromising activity with unknown intentions made by certain Italian circles in the address of the Albanian ambassador, decided not to send Comrade Skënder Konica as ambassador to Italy and in the near future, will seek approval for another person.
Second variant: Since by acting according to the first variant, the impression can be created on the Italian side that we accept what is said in the High Bulletin and we make a withdrawal, Comrade Skënder Konica, to be sent as ambassador to Italy, for a period short term, up to a year. Before his departure, the Italian ambassador should be called to the ministry, and what is written in the OPI Bulletin about Skënder Konica, as well as the goals pursued by its authors, should be pointed out to him.
Let’s talk to him briefly about the policy of good neighborliness that our country follows with Italy, and ask the Italian government to take measures against the spreaders of such slander, and at the same time for the non-repetition of unpleasant actions that damage good relations existing between the two countries.
4 – Looking at the problem in all its aspects, the development of Albania’s relations with Italy, the international situation and the situation created in the Balkans and the Mediterranean, the perspective of normal relations with Italy, as well as the need for the embassy to continue its activities her with friends, we think, can act according to the first option.
5 – In the light of the above events, we think that we should carefully review the problem related to the staff of the Discovery, who because of their activity have become known by the bodies of foreign countries, and who now hold positions of responsibility in Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is necessary to examine the structure of the Ministry, which we think we will do soon. In this context, we will also review the issue of some Intelligence personnel who are currently attached to our embassies and consulates abroad, and who have become known as such.
Tirana on 7.3.1972
The document with the report-information prepared by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nesti Nase, sent to the Central Committee of PPSh, regarding the progress of the negotiations with the Italian government, for the appointment of Skënder Konica as ambassador in Rome
I N F O R M A T I O N
Following our information dated March 7, 1972, regarding the appointment of Comrade Skënder Konica as ambassador to Italy, we once again analyzed this issue and based on the remarks made to us, we reached the following conclusions:
1 – Taking into account what the O.P.I. Bulletin has written about Comrade Skënder Konica and the unusual intervention of the Italian ambassador on the publication of the news of the appointment of Comrade Skënder as ambassador to Italy, we think: To be summoned to the Ministry by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and to point out the article of the O.P.I. Bulletin, about Comrade Skënder Konica, and tell him that they are totally slander and fabrications.
The Italian ambassador should be told that these slanders are not random, and that they are very similar to those written long ago by escaped Albanian criminals in their organ “Alxiptari i Lirë” that is published in the USA. I draw your attention to the fact that the same news, as if the diplomat Skënder Konica has been expelled from Turkey as an unwanted person, was published both by Albanian criminals and by the O.P.I. Bulletin.
Such a thing clearly speaks about the connections of the Albanian fascists with the Italian ones. We protest in front of these slanders, which are aimed at damaging the relations between our two countries. In the end, the Italian ambassador should be told that the government of his country should take measures as soon as possible to refute this news, to take measures against the persons responsible, and to restore the honor of the Albanian ambassador Skënder Konica, thus not allowing the repetition of such events in the future.
During the conversation with the Italian ambassador, it should be pointed out that the O.P.I. Bulletin is not an organ of any kind that does not deserve attention, since this organ has connections with important Italian political and economic circles, and enjoys a wide spread in this place.
2 – It is possible for the Italian ambassador to justify himself by saying that: this is an irresponsible action of the press people who deal with sensations, that the Bulletin in question is an unimportant unofficial body, and that the official position of the Italian side is completely different from what is written in the Italian press, etc.
Reiterating our official position, we must say to the Italian ambassador, whether it would be good for official Rome if materials were published in our press that would harm the personality of the Italian authorities and even more so of their ambassador in Tirana? !
3 – Regarding sending comrade Skënder Konica as ambassador to Italy, we think:
a) If the Italian side will apologize and the refutation will be made in the O.P.I. Bulletin, as requested by us, we think that Comrade Skënder Konica should go to Italy. But for the reasons presented by us before, he stays up to one year.
b) In the event that the Italian side does not apologize and does not make a refutation, but presents an evasive answer, telling us to close this issue, then we think that Comrade Skënder Konica should not go to Italy, but instead another friend is sent. However, we think that we will finish this issue before we receive an answer from the Italian side.
Tirana on 10.3.1972
The document with the information report drawn up by the Albanian embassy in Rome, sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tirana, related to the explanatory data, what the O.P.I. Bulletin represented. (Osservattore Politico Internazionale) which was published in 5 thousand copies in Italy
On some data about the O.P.I. Bulletin, according to our embassy friends in Rome.
O.P.I. (Oservattore Politico Internazionale), is based in Rome, and has been a news agency for 6 years. Its owner is lawyer Mino Pecorelli. Lawyer Pecorelli himself runs his own law office, while for the agency’s problems; a group of 4-5 journalists is taken.
These journalists are paid for the information they collect and publish in this newsletter. The O.P.I. Bulletin is waxy. One issue is daily, while the other issue comes out three times a week, and contains material allegedly of a secret nature. The agency often publishes political and economic materials, of a sensational and disinforming nature, to create confusion between Italian political groups and economic firms.
A few months ago, this newsletter published a story about our country, about our official position on Soviet revisionism. In general, the comment was positive, but there were also uncertainties. Based on this fact, one of the friends of the embassy met Mino Pecorelli and informed us as follows.
A- His newsletter is mainly financed by economic circles and various political groups, which, according to their interests, seek to use it in favor of the situation, as well as to disorganize their political rivals.
B – It comes out in about 5,000 copies, and it is mainly distributed to the above segments, political institutions, various representations, etc. For him, it is of interest since he often publishes news and information unknown to the public.
C – SID (Italian Intelligence Organs), they constantly take him and Pecorelli, pointed out that they accused him of being financed by the Ministry of the Interior, but he rejected these accusations, saying that he receives money from various political and economic circles .
D – His information sources are from different departments and they are obtained on the basis of reward. There are information sources, both from internal and external departments. In the bulletin, any type of material, be it disinformation, is written, which the interested party or the various institutions, influence that against payment, they are published. Memorie.al