News / Europe

Albania Rejects US Request to Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons

Demonstrators wear masks during a protest against the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons in Albania, in front of the U.S. embassy in Tirana, November 12, 2013.
Demonstrators wear masks during a protest against the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons in Albania, in front of the U.S. embassy in Tirana, November 12, 2013.
VOA News
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has rejected a U.S. request that Albania host the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.

In a speech Friday, Mr. Rama said it is "impossible" for the Balkan nation to take part in the operation. He said no other countries have stepped forward to house a facility that will dismantle the weapons.

His announcement came amid strong opposition to the plan in Albania. On Friday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside Mr. Rama's office in the capital, Tirana, waving banners and chanting "No to chemical weapons."

Earlier Friday, a chemical weapons monitoring group met to decide the fate of Syria's chemical arsenal, with Albania emerging as a possible place where the weapons would be destroyed.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has said Syria's stockpile should be moved out of the country before the risky process of destroying the arsenal is carried out.

Syria's government, which has submitted a detailed disarmament plan to the OPCW, shares that view. But the search for a country willing to receive the weapons has been unsuccessful.

Norway has offered to send a navy frigate and a civilian cargo ship to Syria to help transport the weapons. But Oslo refused to allow the stockpile to be destroyed on Norwegian soil.

Under a U.N.-backed plan, Syria has agreed to destroy its chemical arsenal by the middle of next year. Its stockpile includes poison gas and the deadly nerve agent sarin.

More than 120,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011, while more than 2 million others have been forced to flee their homes.

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Great North (Canada)
November 18, 2013 3:43 PM
It should be mandatory that the chemicals be returned to the countries that provided the precusor chemicals; and the destruction should be at the full expense of those companies. And the countries from where the precursors came should be fully liable for all compensation to the victims of such chemicals. That is one of the ways that would reduce the proliferation of such chemical weapons.

by: Daniel Nikolla from: London
November 16, 2013 8:45 PM
NO! NO! NO! We said! US AND RUSSIA take their rubbish to their countries!!!

GOD BLESS ALBANIA!

by: Maithe from: Paris, France
November 16, 2013 8:52 AM
One can understand Albania !
Who really at the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons - Nobel Peace Price by the way ...- had this 'bright' idea ?...
Why they don't ask "all smiles" Rouhani to take care of the "risky process of destroying the arsenal"( as they put it) on the iranian soil ? I'm sure he would be delighted to 'help' and get some money and looks like the good guy in Geneva ...
Things are turning more and more nasty. It's a shame.

by: Olatunji from: nigeria
November 16, 2013 6:22 AM
Nigeria ll well heartedly accept the chemical weapon though millions of dollar ll follow as millions live in abject and cronical poverty b'cos of high corruption

by: al baba from: new york
November 16, 2013 4:23 AM
IS Us lost the touch of reality ? We should for our internal problem like health care which is out of control .. the hospital and drug companies are overcharging people .the corruption in health care is worst than the corruption in all under development countries. still Us want go for another war because Syria has chemical weapons ? is that US is making favor for Muslim brotherhood whom fight Bashar el Assad . We spend million in afghisstan and billion in Iraq. We should look for our problem and let middle East Psychopaths figure out how they solve their own problem.

by: Igor from: Russia
November 15, 2013 11:54 PM
It is a good idea that we should destroy those chemical weapons in Israel because Israel is among the topten countries which want them to be destroyed.

by: endrit from: albania
November 15, 2013 6:33 PM
Is USA and Russia that decide for that, rich countries, they can destroid the weapons to everywhere( money no problem) they can in deserd or in Antarctica also, hehe they also can destroid in the "moon" if they want; so itis a shame to choose the cheaper option (Albania) and we know if we are not integrate country as the rest of Europe but we have our dignity as well! Albania was just the cheaper option for the weapons and this is a shame also cause war in Syria killed many peoples in those 3 years and deserve a bigger attention and effort from USA and
Russia! USA and Russia should use just them power for the peace they pretent to give Syria, if they so human they can spend more for this peace and the life's they save in Syria finding the right place for the demonatation and not the cheaper one like Albania! Goodluck to Syrian peoples!

by: endrit from: albania
November 15, 2013 2:37 PM
Mr. Goodwin,,,
We decide the right thing, and me as Albanian I'm feeling more safe now here in my country...
They can find better places to destroid those weapons, Albania already have many problems to take care, we can't take care of all the world
In Response

by: ahmad from: abuja
November 15, 2013 4:41 PM
well said..they should take it to us

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 15, 2013 1:26 PM
Destroying chemical weapons in Albania would have been a humanitarian assistance to the region being contributed by the country that accepts it. Now who knows if political undertones may have been responsible for the rejection. If done in good faith, well. But the only thing to be rejected from USA is not just the proposal to save lives that Assad, the network of terrorists in the opposition and Iran want to destroy with sarin poison, what other things can you say no to? Please list them out too when you have started saying no. Could you also have been induced by Russia, Iran or China to say it as if it is from your own mind?
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
November 16, 2013 4:33 AM
Bashar el Assad is less evil than the Syrian rebel which their aim is to establish a terrorist camp in middle East. the story of chemical weapons is made by Muslim brotherhood propaganda which is control the major media such as al Jazeera and probably CNN . Muslim brotherhood is financing by gulf countries and the Arab who live in Us . they have the money and extreme desire to destroy the world for the sake of islam
In Response

by: Proconsul from: Planet Earth
November 15, 2013 3:11 PM
How about Nigeria taking over this 'humanitarian task'?
In Response

by: rouben from: albania
November 15, 2013 2:39 PM
People in albania were blissfully unaware of syrian chemical weapons until a week before decision day, aka 15th november when merica laid this down on us. We had to speak hard against usa and our corrupt prime minister and got our victory but it was very touch and go. The american government was talking a lot of heavy talk on us like its our duty to world peace and all that rot, as if it was us the albanians who made the damn things in the first place!!!

Everyone was freaked out because the best scenario was to be left with huge amounts of toxic waste mere km away from populated areas, im talking imagine a small lake of chemical waste!!! whereas the worst scenario was a leak of sarin or mustard gas either during transport or during destruction and how bad that is doesnt even bare thinking.

A small insight on why americans cant keep their allies stick to them for very long

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs