Albania rejects request to destroy Syrian weapons

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Associated Press

TIRANA, Albania (AP) - It's a major blow to the effort to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile by the middle of next year.
   
Syria wants the destruction to take place in some other country, and the United States asked the tiny, impoverished Balkan nation of Albania to host that project. But Albania's prime minister today said no -- an announcement that was greeted with a loud cheer by about 2,000 protesters camped outside his office.
   
One protester says, "We can't deal with our own stuff, let alone Syrian weapons."
   
In his televised address, the prime minister said it was "impossible for Albania to take part in this operation."
   
Albania, a member of NATO, is one of only three nations that has declared a chemical weapons stockpile and destroyed it. Nations including the United States and Russia also have declared stockpiles, but haven't yet completed their destruction.

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