NATO to continue cutting troops in Kosovo

11:04, May 22, 2010      

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Anders Rasmussen, secretary general of NATO, announced on Friday in Pristina that NATO would continue to reduce its military presence in Kosovo, but offered no timeline, saying everything would depend on the security situation, reported the Bosnian news agency Fena.

"Security has continued to improve. It is correct that there are political complications and occasional incidents, but in general things are gradually moving in the right direction," Rasmussen told reporters.

This improved security situation was the stated reason for trimming the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) by 5,000 in January, leaving 10,000 troops on the ground. Currently, 31 countries (24 NATO and seven non-NATO) are deployed in Kosovo as part of KFOR, which has been responsible for security since 1999 on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

The secretary general of NATO said that a lasting solution for Kosovo along with regional integration into the European Union " required political courage, compromise and confidence among all communities in Kosovo."

A breakaway province of Serbia, ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in February 2008. However, Serbia has vowed it would never recognize Kosovo's independence, describing the move as illegal and in contrary with international law.

Source: Xinhua


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