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.

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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

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