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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs