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Albania: Italy To Vote On Multinational Force Next Week

Rome, 3 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Italy's parliamentary party leaders said today the country's Senate will vote next Tuesday on plans to send an Italian-led multinational force to Albania.

The Chamber of Deputies is to vote on the issue a day later.

Italy hopes to begin deploying the force to Albania next week. But Franz Vranitsky, an envoy for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said in Athens today a deployment date of April 12 may be optimistic.

Vranitsky spoke after meeting Albanian Prime Minister Bashkim Fino.

In Paris today, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yves Doutriaux, said representatives from Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey and Austria will meet in Rome tomorrow to discuss the deployment.

The force is to provide security to humanitarian aid shipments to Albania, in response to armed anarchy that broke out in the country following the collapse of dubious, high-risk investment schemes.