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Albania: U.S. Commission Warns Against Power Abuse

Washington, 5 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe has added its voice to widespread concern and criticism of the situation in Albania

The commission co-chairmen, U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato (R-New York) and Congressman Christopher Smith (R-New Jersey) issued a statement urging Albanian president Sali Berisha to adhere strictly to the rule of law and refrain from violence.

They said that to do otherwise would lead to gross violations of human rights, damage Albania's reform prospects and cost the country vital international support with lasting negative consequences for the Albanian government and people.

D'Amato and Smith said in the statement that "under no circumstances should the current crisis be misused to enhance political power."

They said Albanian authorities need to engage in "considerable self-examination," show good will and tolerate criticism. The opposition forces too must avoid unnecessary provocation and refrain from violence, they said.