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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Foreign Troops Set To Leave Albania

DURRES, Albania -- Stiff winds carved waves into the Adriatic on Friday, keeping ships at anchor and some foreign troops in Albania past their scheduled departure.

The first contingents of Romanians and Italians with the 7,000-strong multinational force in Albania were to have left on Friday. The Romanians still were hoping to leave later in the day, but the stormy weather indefinitely delayed the departure of 226 Italian troops who were to have left the southern port of Vlora for Brindisi.

The eight-nation force, first deployed in April to safeguard humanitarian aid shipments after Albania exploded in anarchy, is due to have completed its withdrawal by Aug. 18.

The multinational force's original withdrawal date was June 28, but its mandate was extended to Aug. 12 to protect observers monitoring Albania's parliamentary elections on June 29 and July 6. Franz Vranitzky, the top international envoy to Albania, has urged that the foreign military mission remain in some form.