Albania rejects plan to destroy Syrian chemical weapons

Albania has rejected a plan for Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles to be destroyed within its borders.

Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama said Friday that the small Balkan country would not be the location for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, the BBC reported.

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The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had hoped that Syria’s chemical weapons could be shipped out of Syria and destroyed in Albania.

Albania’s rejection of the plan will deal a blow to the OPCW’s efforts to remove chemical weapons from Syria.

The organization, which is meeting Friday, had said destroying the weapons in Albania was the “most viable” option, according to the Associated Press.

The possibility that chemical weapons could be moved into Albania prompted protests in the capital city of Tirana, which had swelled to about 1,000 people by Friday afternoon.

“We don't have the infrastructure here to deal with the chemical weapons. We can't deal with our own stuff, let alone Syrian weapons," said 19-year-old architecture student Maria Pesha, according to the AP. "We have no duty to obey anyone on this, NATO or the U.S."

In 2007, Albania was the first country the OPCW confirmed had destroyed its entire chemical weapons stockpiles.