Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said yesterday he would not agree to a U.S. request to have Syrian chemical weapons destroyed in his country, the Balkan Insight website reports today (November 16, 2013).
In an address to his nation that followed protests across Albania, Rama said, "Albania finds it impossible to be involved in this operation." Immediately after Rama's announcement, thousands of protesters gathered outside the government's headquarters erupted in jubilation.
Based on a United Nations resolution, Syria's chemical weapons must be removed from Syria by January 2014, and destroyed before June 2014.
The U.S. had asked Albania -- the poorest nation in Europe -- to host the destruction process on its soil, which would have been done with international financial aid and technical support. However, the U.S. request provoked a plethora of protests across Albania -- especially by activists and students -- who feared the country would become a "dustbin."