Albania Rejects U.S. Proposal to Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons

Prime minister: Country lacks the "necessary capacities" to get involved

  • Share
  • Read Later
Gent Shkullaku / AFP / Getty Images

Albanian environmental activists celebrate the announcement by Prime Minister Edi Rama saying he turned down a request by the United States to be part of an operation to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile in Tirana, November 15, 2013.

In a major setback to the Russian-U.S. deal to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons program by mid-2014, Albania announced Friday that it rejected a U.S. request for the Balkan nation to receive and destroy the stockpile.

“It is impossible for Albania to get involved in this operation,” said Prime Minister Edi Rama in a televised address.┬áThe decision comes amid days of large opposition demonstrations in the capital Tirana as Rama mulled whether Albania, which destroyed its own arsenal with U.S. help in 2004, would agree to the proposal.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Hague-based international watchdog that is overseeing the process, wouldn’t elaborate to Reuters on where else the U.S. and Russia may look to get rid of more than 1,000 metric tons of sarin, mustard and various agents.