Albania holds ceremony for exiled king's remains



Tirana: Albania's top leaders and thousands of people paid their last respect on Saturday to the country's only post-independence monarch, King Ahmet Zog I, half a century after he died and was buried in exile.

The nation's television stations broadcast live the burial ceremony in the capital, a day after Zog's remains were returned from France. He was buried in the family's mausoleum, alongside his Hungarian wife, Queen Geraldina, his son Leka I and his wife Susan.

Zog proclaimed himself Albania's monarch in 1928 and ruled until 1939 when he fled Albania after it was occupied by fascist Italy. Albania's post-World War II communist regime abolished the monarchy in 1946.

Albania remains a parliamentary republic after the fall of communism in 1990. The royal family returned to Albania in 2002 leading a quiet life though never relinquishing the claim to the throne.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha said that Albanian's honor Zog "for his historic contribution in building up this country."

PTI