updated 10/9/2009 12:03:35 PM ET 2009-10-09T16:03:35

Albania's prime minister said the country wants to repatriate the remains of its late King Ahmet Zog from France.

Zog was the small Balkan country's first — and only — post-independence monarch, reigning from 1928 to 1939, when he fled after Albania's occupation by fascist Italy.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha said Friday that Zog was "one of the most distinguished personalities, with a major contribution in the history of the Albanian nation."

Buried near Paris
Zog died in France in 1961, and is buried at the Thiais Cemetery near Paris.

Albania's communist rulers abolished the monarchy in 1946, but the exiled royal family insisted that Zog's son Leka Zog I was the country's legitimate ruler.

More on: Albania

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