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Albania: UN Security Council Calls For Halt To Violence

United Nations, 14 March 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The U.N. Security Council is calling for an end to the violence in Albania. In a formal statement adopted last night, the council urged all parties to cooperate with diplomatic efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis.

The statement made no reference to a call from political parties in Tirana for foreign military intervention to quell the chaos. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said yesterday that the crisis is an internal matter and that it is not clear what troops would do if sent in to restore order.

However, Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van Mierlo -- whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union -- said the EU is seriously considering Tirana's request. NATO officials in Brussels say the alliance can only respond if the U.N. issues a formal request.

U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard, meanwhile, rejected a separate request to send a U.N. force to Albania. He said the U.N. lacks the resources "to go in the middle of a civil war."

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright voiced support yesterday for an OSCE mission to Albania but resisted calls for a military operation. A 10-person team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is due to arrive in Albania today in an effort to defuse the crisis.