Monday, March 8, 2010

Albania promises to cooperate on organ probe

March 09, 2010

Albanian Foreign Minister Ilir Meta said on Monday that his country would cooperate with international institutions in probing into the organ trafficking allegations during the Kosovo war.

It was alleged that near the end of the 1999 Kosovo war, hundreds of Serb civilians were kidnapped by Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas and transported to neighboring Albania. They were killed there and their organs were harvested to be sold abroad.

"Albania is committed to fully and unreservedly cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal of former Yugoslavia ( ICTY) and the Council of Europe in order to come up with a definitive answer to these claims that in our opinion are unfounded," Meta told Albania's official news agency ATA.

He said Albania had already had close and unreserved cooperation with the ICTY, and that an inquiry by a special investigation team in 2003 proved that the allegations "could not be substantiated by any proof and were groundless."

However, Philip Alston, a UN expert, said last month that the efforts to investigate the alleged killings and organ trafficking have received no meaningful cooperation on the side of the government of Albania.

Albanians have vehemently denied the organ trafficking charges. The country's officials have denounced the allegations as " fabrications and absurdities."

"It is our firm intention and interest to bring this process to an end, hence definitely closing the chapter related to these allegations," Meta said.

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