NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Thursday called for holding accountable those who attacked NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in May.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu after their meeting at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, Stoltenberg said the attack on NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) is “totally unacceptable,” and asserted that it is “important that those who are responsible are held accountable.”
He stressed that the KFOR mission works under a “clear” mandate by the UN “to ensure a safe and secure environment for all communities in Kosovo.”
For her part, Osmani-Sadriu offered Kosovo’s “full cooperation in order to bring the perpetrators of those attacks to justice” and promised a “thorough and swift accountability for these organized crime groups.”
She also underlined that Kosovo is a “partner of the Euro-Atlantic community,” applying “100% alignment with every foreign and security policy decision of EU and NATO.”
Referring to the continued tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, Stoltenberg called on all parties to “act with restraint” and use “patience, perseverance, and compromise” to solve the conflict.
He also welcomed that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti will meet with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell next week in Brussels.
The EU-led Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue is “the only way to resolve outstanding issues and to reach a solution that respects the rights of both communities,” Stoltenberg said.
NATO decided to deploy 700 more troops in the KFOR mission after 93 of its soldiers were injured amid unrest in May in Northern Kosovo following municipal elections.
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Türkiye, recognizing it as an autonomous country.
Launched in 2011, the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue aims to normalize relations between the two Balkan countries and to find a mutually agreeable solution to disputes within the framework of a legally binding agreement.
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