Tuesday, December 1, 1998 Published at 12:52 GMT
US enters Pinochet row
General Pinochet's lawyers say he is to ill for extradition
The United States has intervened in the controversy surrounding Chile's former dictator, General Augusto Pinochet - suggesting that the Chilean authorities themselves should be allowed to decide his fate.
Speaking in Washington after the international donors conference to raise money for Palestinians, she declared that "significant respect should be given to their conclusions".
"The United States is committed to principles of accountability and justice, as shown by our strong support for the international war crimes tribunal on former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
"The record of the United States in working to see those responsible for those kind of crimes brought to justice is second to none."
The BBC Washington Correspondent, Richard Lister, says the issue is sensitive for the Americans and they may have cause for concern about whom he may implicate in any future court proceedings.
Our correspondent says that although the US officials say they are not trying to influence the final decision one way or another, Mrs Albright's comments will be hard for the UK Government to ignore.
The Spanish Government says it is a judicial matter that rests with Britain.
On Monday, General Pinochet was told to leave the private hospital in North London where he has been staying during the legal battle.
There have been suggestions that the UK Home Secretary, Jack Straw, could grant the 83-year old former dictator's release on grounds of ill health.