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Albanian president would welcome U.N. peacekeepers

March 28, 1997
Web posted at: 3:39 p.m. EST (2039 GMT)


TIRANA, Albania (CNN) -- Albanian President Sali Berisha said Friday he would support a multinational peacekeeping force for his country, which is largely ruled by rebels and armed gangs following last month's protests.

The protests stemmed from a failed investment scheme and have led to widespread unrest and calls for Berisha's ouster.

Italy has asked the U.N. Security Council to authorize troops to safeguard aid to Albania. Dutch diplomat Jan de Marchant et d'Ansembourg met with Berisha and said the president thought such a force would be useful and have the support of most Albanians.

Also Friday: Berisha's opponents met in the southern Albanian town of Vlora. They appear to be backing away from demanding the president's removal, urging instead that parliament limit his power. The shift comes after new Prime Minister Bashkim Fino refused to back the rebels and called for law and order.


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