NATO to ‘do what is necessary’ to ensure safe, secure environment in Kosovo: Stoltenberg

NATO will ‘do what is necessary’ to ensure a safe and secure environment in Kosovo, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

‘We will do what is necessary to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo,’ Stoltenberg said at a joint news conference with Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani in the capital Pristina.

He expressed support for the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and welcomed the latest proposals for the establishment of the association of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo, saying that ‘this would be a key step toward normalization of the relationship, and toward lasting peace and prosperity in the region.’

Earlier, Stoltenberg visited NATO’s Camp Nothing Hill and met with Commander Maj. Gen. Ozkan Ulutas and addressed the troops.

Under a UN Security Council resolution, NATO has led a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo since 1999. Currently, the mission has approximately 4,500 troops contributed by 27 NATO allies and partners

Trkiye took command of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) on Oct. 9, with Ulutas formally assuming charge at a ceremony in Pristina.

Among 27 NATO member countries and partners, Trkiye has the second-largest contingent in KFOR, contributing 780 of its approximately 4,500 soldiers.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and was recognized by many countries, including Trkiye. But Belgrade has never recognized Kosovo and claims that it is still part of Serbia.

Source: EN – Anadolu Agency