EU envoy in Albania to mediate political crisis

Lajcak was appointed as an envoy by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

EU envoy in Albania to mediate political crisis

A European Union envoy has begun meetings with Albanian leaders in an effort to defuse a political crisis in the Balkan country following deadly riots.

The United States also called on government and opposition supporters not to stage demonstrations planned for the end of this week. Washington's ambassador to Tirana offered on Tuesday to send technical experts to Albania to examine the killings.

Lajcak was appointed as an envoy by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Envoy Miroslav Lajcak is to meet Wednesday with President Bamir Topi and Prime Minister Sali Berisha, as well as Parliament Speaker Jozefina Topalli and Socialist opposition leader Edi Rama.

Three people were shot dead and more than 150 protesters and security officers were injured in the Jan. 21 clashes in the capital, Tirana.

Following an appeal from the United States, Berisha has said he will cancel a rally planned for Saturday, but Rama refused, saying the opposition demonstration on Friday would be "peaceful."

The Socialists refuse to accept the results of a 2009 election which gave Berisha, Albania's dominant post-Communist politician, a second four-year term.

They accuse his government of corruption.

Defence Minister Arben Imami said he had assured his NATO partners that the army would stay in its barracks. "The army will not get out of the Defence Ministry, but no man alive will enter the Defence Ministry," Imami said.


Agencies

Last Mod: 26 Ocak 2011, 15:02
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