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Press Releases, 3/17/2008

Foreign Minister Kanerva offers OSCE help over fatal blast at Albanian arms site

Press release 87/2008
17 March, 2008

The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva, expressed his condolences to Albania today and offered the Organization’s assistance after a series of huge explosions at an arms dump which killed at least nine people and injured more than 290 others.

“I join the Head of our Presence in Albania, Ambassador Robert Bosch, in extending our sincere condolences to the Albanian government and people following this horrifying incident. Our sympathies are especially extended to the families of the bereaved and injured,” he said.

“The OSCE is ready to use its expertise in assisting the Albanian authorities to destroy the Cold War ammunition stockpiles, so as to avoid future incidents of this kind, and also to help in other ways, if requested,” the Chairman-in-Office said.

He said the Presence in Albania was in touch with the Albanian government about possible assistance.

Further information: Janne Taalas, Deputy Head of the Finnish OSCE Chairmanship Task Force, tel. +358 40 728 4015; Mikko Hautala, Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 40 834 6758


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Updated 3/17/2008

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