On this day May 30, 1913

The Treaty of London was signed to deal with territorial adjustments arising out of the conclusion of the First Balkan War, declaring, among other things, an independent Albania.

The combatants were the victorious Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Montenegro) and the defeated Ottoman Empire. Representing the Great Powers were Britain, Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.

Hostilities had ceased on 2 December 1912. Three principal points were in dispute:

  • the status of the territory of present-day Albania, the vast majority of which had been overrun by Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece
  • the status of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar formally under the protection of Austria-Hungary since the Treaty of Berlin in 1878
  • the status of the other territories taken by the Allies: Kosovo; Macedonia; and Thrace

The Treaty was negotiated in London at an international conference which had opened there in December 1912, following the declaration of independence by Albania on 28 November 1912.

Austria-Hungary and Italy strongly supported the creation of an independent Albania. In part, this was consistent with Austria-Hungary’s previous policy of resisting Serb expansion to the Adriatic; Italy had designs on the territory, manifested in 1939. Russia supported Serbia and Montenegro. Germany and Britain remained neutral. The balance of power struck between the members of the Balkan League had been on the assumption that Albania would be among the conquered lands shared between them.

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