Friday, December 7, 2012

Deputy PM urges continued deployment of NATO in Kosovo

WASHINGTON, BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vučić has requested that the NATO-led KFOR troops should not withdraw from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, according to reports.
Aleksandar Vučić (Beta, file)
Aleksandar Vučić (Beta, file)
Serbia's first deputy prime minister and defense minister made the request as he met with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon on Friday.
The reason for this, Vučić said, was the distrust of the Serb population toward the interim Kosovo institutions, i.e. the Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština.

Panetta underscored that he will advocate for U.S. troops within KFOR to remain in Kosovo at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in February next year, the Defense Ministry said in a statement issued in Belgrade.

Vučić and Panetta agreed that bilateral military cooperation is at a high level, especially in the field of military education.

Panetta pledged support for the Serbian Defense Ministry and Armed Forces, while Vučić thanked the American colleague for financial and technical support for the Serbian Armed Forces, and realization of humanitarian assistance projects.

Serbia's deputy prime minister also conferred with David Shedd, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in Washington on Friday.

The meeting addressed bilateral cooperation, and improvement in the cooperation of intelligence services of the U.S. and Serbia, the release said.

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