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NATO says to act firmly to maintain stablity in Kosovo

(Xinhua)

10:50, September 16, 2011

NATO says to act firmly to maintain stablity in Kosovo

English.news.cn 2011-09-16 06:18:10 FeedbackPrintRSS

PRISTINA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Visiting NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday that the alliance's troops in Kosovo (KFOR) will act firmly to maintain regional stability.

"Let me be very clear. There can't be no turning back. NATO has spent 12 years ensuring stability and security. We will not allow that achievement to be put at risk," Rasmussen made the comments in a joint press conference with Kosovo leader Hashim Thaci.

During the talks before meeting the press, they discussed Pristina's announcement to set up police and border control in two northern crossing points with Serbia on September 16.

Thaci reiterated that Pristina will start on Friday to implement the plan for police and border controls in ethnic Serb-dominated northern gate 1 and 31, saying the plan is coordinated with international mission in Kosovo.

Rasmussen did not make clear if KFOR will participate in implementing the plan.

"The mandate of the KFOR to maintain a safe and secure environment, which also implies that KFOR has to take actions if the safe and security environment is endangered", said NATO Secretary General.

Kosovo became separate from Serbia in 1999 and declared its own independence in 2008. The two remain at odds over sovereignty and borders in North Kosovo where a significant ethnic Serb community remains and has resisted Pristina's rule.

Two disputed northern crossing borders are military zones under KFOR authority since the end of July. KFOR set up military control following violence that erupted after Pristina's attempt to set up control there.

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