Photo: US Ambassador in Greece, Daniel B. Smith and Mrs. Smith with Greek-American journalist/author Nicholas Gage (left).(State Department Photo)
Gage has visited Himara, South of Albania and has very been interested for the Law on Minorities
During several days, in Albania, the President of the Pan Epirotean Federation of USA, the veru known journalist of New York Times, Nicholas Gage, made a surprise visit considered "Top Secret", as much as the Albanian media had not information on it. Gage was always associated with such visits by staff of the US Representative in Tirana, and especially by Ambassador Donald Lu.
Gage has gone to Himara where he has seen the situation of the Greek Community, especially for their property rights, the isue of the Development Plan and to talk to the people. He has also visited Vlora, Saranda, Gjirokastra and Korça, while he has had meetings in Tirana, with Prime Minister Rama and Ambassador Donald Lu, out of media attention.
According to sources, Gage's visit to Tirana was considered secret and was prepared by the US Department of State, but in particular on his agenda has been direct interest to the Law on Minorities newly approved by the Parliament of Albania, the situation of the Greek Community of Northern Epirus, property issues and high tensions in the Greek Albanian relations of the last two years as a result of Himara's affair.
Nicholas Gage has been visiting almost every year in Albania in recent years, but a little bit out of the media, he was "Persona Non Grata" announced by the Berisha government in 1995 when the Pan Epiriote Federation defended 5 of the leaders of Omonia, The Greek Political Organization in Albania, in the international public relations, along with Athens. But in the spring of 2004, Gage returns to Tirana, accompanied by American Ambassador James Jaffrey, where he held meetings with Socialist Prime Minister Fatos Nano, the opposition leader, Sali Berisha and Mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama.