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U.S. 'appreciates' Albanian consideration of Syria's weapons

Nov. 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM   |   Comments

TIRANA, Albania, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy in Albania said Friday it respected the Albanian government's decision to not host the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

"The United States appreciates that the government of Albania gave serious consideration to supporting the international effort to eliminate Syria's chemical warfare materials in a safe and secure manner," the embassy said in a statement.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said Friday his government was willing to be involved in the operation but lacked the internal capacity to participate directly.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons set a Nov. 15 deadline to outline plans to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles.

OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said last week the Syrian government submitted to it a plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal. "The most viable option available" is to destroy those weapons outside of Syria because of the security situation, he said.

Before Albania's announcement, Sigrid Kaaq, special envoy for the joint U.N.-OPCW mission, said she was looking to member states that "have influence with all actors to support the joint mission in the successful fulfillment of [the OPCW] mandate."

The U.S. Embassy in Albania said the U.S. government would work with its allies to ensure Syria's chemical weapons arsenal is destroyed.

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