The Bulgarian villages in Macedonia which were occupied during WWI wished to be included in the territory of Albania because it would not try to eradicate their Bulgarian identity.
This is what historian Svetoslav Eldurov claims quoting documents by the Bulgarian legation to Tirana and the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religious Faiths. His book, "The Bulgarians in Albania 1913 - 1939", includes over 100 documents. The historian tries to present the stand of the Bulgarian diplomats to Albania on the matter. The Bulgarian diplomats at that time recommended to the Bulgarian Government to attempt to preserve the minority's national identity. Bulgaria, however, did not make the necessary efforts to win church and school rights for the Bulgarians in Albania. Data about the number of Bulgarians in Albania at that time varies - according to some sources, Bulgarian Christians used to number 5,000 - 6,000 people, while according to others, the Bulgarian Christians were some 15,000 and Bulgarian Muslims were some 25,000, said Eldurov quoting the researched documents. Eldurov is a senior researcher with the Institute of Balkan Studies with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His researches focus on the history of Bulgarians in Macedonia and Eastern Thrace. This is his fourth book. It will be press launched at the St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University Thursday.