Thursday, June 9, 2016

NATO-led force to continue mission in Kosovo: Jens Stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday said that the NATO-led multinational Kosovo Force (KFOR) would continue its mission in Kosovo as long as necessary.

Stoltenberg announced after talks with Kosovo leader Hashim Thaci at NATO headquarters, according to NATO.

KFOR, which entered Kosovo since 1999, "would continue its mission to preserve a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and to guarantee freedom of movement for as long as necessary, in accordance with its UN mandate," said the NATO chief in a press release.

He stressed that any reduction in the number of NATO forces in Kosovo would be based on an improvement of conditions on the ground.

Stoltenberg also reiterated the importance of continued political reforms in Kosovo and dialogue with Belgrade on the normalization of relations.

Kosovo is the subject of a long-running political and territorial dispute between Belgrade and Pristina. Serbia categorically refuses to recognize its southern province Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence in 2008, though most leading European countries and the United States have exchanged diplomats with Kosovo.

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