At Italy’s urging, the Security Council agreed Friday to send a multinational force to Albania for at least three months to protect the delivery of humanitarian aid to the convulsed Balkan nation.
Italian Ambassador Francesco Paolo Fulci said he expected the operation to begin “in a very speedy way.” Albania is down to only six or seven days worth of food supplies, he said, “so there’s not one moment to lose.”
The motion passed 14-0 with China abstaining. Italian diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they expected about 2,500 troops in the initial phase with double that number once the security situation stabilized.
Most of the troops are expected to come from Italy. U.S. troops are not expected to join the force.
The resolution authorizes mission members to use force if necessary to defend themselves and provides that the cost be borne by countries sending personnel.