Albanian PM Backs Strikes, Offers Support
Prime Minister Ilir Meta expressed his full support Monday for the US-led strikes on Afghanistan overnight, and said Albania was offering its assistance, including the use of air and port facilities.
"The Albanian government is convinced that the attacks against terrorist bases in Afghanistan and against the regime harboring them will swiftly produce results favorable to humanity and to the Afghan people," Meta said at a news conference.
He added that Albania "has offered everything it owns to the battle against international terrorism, including its port and airport facilities."
Since the September 11 kamikaze attacks in New York and Washington, police have stepped up identity controls of people from Arab countries living in Albania, as well as security checks touching on their social, economic and religious activities, police spokesman Bilbil Mema said.
Five Egyptians and Iraqis were arrested as part of the checks Saturday.
Last month, the US ambassador said there was no proof that Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the attacks on New York and Washington, was in Albania during 1999.
Interior Minister Ilir Gjoni also denied last month a Serbian government claim that bin Laden had bases in the east European country, which is predominantly Muslim -- TIRANA (AFP)