Treaty of London, 1913

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The Treaty of London was signed on 30 May 1913, to deal with territorial adjustments arising out of the conclusion of the First Balkan War.


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

Hostilities had ceased on December 2, 1912 for Montenegro, Serbia and Bulgaria. Greece continued the war in Epirus and the Aegean Sea until February 1913. Three principal points were in dispute:

  • the status of Albania, which the Great Powers sought to establish as an independent state
  • the status of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, part of the Old Serbian territories of Raska and Zeta (Duklja), formally under the protection of Austria-Hungary since the Treaty of Berlin in 1878
  • the status of the other territories liberated by the Allies: Kosovo, Macedonia, Epirus, Thrace and the Aegean islands.

The Treaty was negotiated in London at an international conference which had opened in December 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 lands shared between them. [1]


The terms enforced by the Great Powers were:

  • Albania was declared an independent state, with Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece being obliged to withdraw their armed forces (the boundary between Albania and Greece was decided by a commission, solely on the basis of language, which led to an uprising by ethnic Greek Northern Epirus).
  • The Sanjak of Novi Pazar was divided between Serbia and Montenegro.
  • Bulgaria received Thrace, north of the line between Ainos on the Aegean Sea and Midia on the Black Sea.
  • No definitive decision was taken about the division of Macedonia because of disagreements among the allies.

As a result of the shortcomings of the Treaty of London, the Second Balkan War broke out between the combatants in June 1913. A final peace was agreed at the Treaty of Bucharest on 12 August 1913.


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