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Albania: Prime Minister Wants Multinational Force To Protect Depots

Tirana, 9 May 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Albanian Prime Minister Bashkim Fino today again called for the multi-national military force in his country to play a role beyond its current United Nations mandate.

Fino said he has asked Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) to use foreign soldiers to guard army depots filled with explosives and ammunition.

Meanwhile, the OSCE's top envoy in Albania, Franz Vranitzky, is continuing to press Albanian political leaders today to break their deadlock over a draft law for early parliamentary elections.

Vranitsky met with President Sali Berisha in Tirana yesterday to push for an agreement, but no progress was reported.

Rome's Defense Minister Beniamino Andreatta said this week that Italian troops will leave Albania if the June vote does not take place. Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini is to meet Fino in Rome tomorrow for talks on the issue. The Albanian delegation is then scheduled to go on to Washington.