Berisha says he will fight on


TIRANA - Albania's embattled President Sali Berisha has emerged from a self imposed silence to try to claw back political credibility after weeks of crisis in which the south of the country was seized by anti government rebels.

In an interview, Mr Berisha said that despite more than two months of anti government street protests that snowballed into armed rebellion aimed at unseating him, he would continue to fight for his political future.

"I have been in opposition. I have won. I will continue to fight for my ideas. Politics is my life," Mr Berisha said, adding that "the worst had been avoided" in Albania's three week rebellion which has left at least 140 dead and over 700 others injured.

Today in Rome the Prime Ministers of Italy and Albania will discuss the crisis in the Balkan country after EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels to work out an aid mission.

The office of the Italian Prime Minister, Mr Romano Prodi, said yesterday that he and Mr Bashkim Fino, Albania's Prime Minister, would discuss Albania's appeal for help to restore order and stability.