Friday, January 23, 2015

NATO Secretary General says KFOR is a success story in the Western Balkans

  • 23 Jan. 2015
During a visit to Pristina on Friday (23 January) the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that KFOR is a success story of cooperation between allies and partners.
The Secretary General met with COMKFOR Major General Francesco Paolo Figluolo  and addressed KFOR troops. “Sixteen years ago, NATO came here in the aftermath of bloodshed and war.  Today, Kosovo is a very different place.  Peaceful, stable, increasingly prosperous”, he said.  “Under a clear United Nations mandate, our mission has helped transform Kosovo into a safer place. And it has helped make the Western Balkans more stable.“  The Secretary General added that “every man and woman who has served under the KFOR flag has helped to change the course of history in Kosovo. And helped keep our neighbourhood stable. You have made a difference.”
Mr. Stoltenberg also met with local government leaders.Meeting Mr. Isa Mustafa, the Secretary General said that NATO will continue to help build a capable Kosovo Security Force within its current mandate. “A professional and capable force. And a source of regional stability”.  Mr. Stoltenberg said that he discussed the need for pragmatism. “For continued commitment to any effort that leads to the normalisation of the situation on the ground. And avoid creating tensions.” The Secretary General also stressed that he is “encouraged that a new round of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, facilitated by the European Union, will take place soon” and said that he looks forward seeing its results.  “This is a difficult path, which will continue to require political courage. But it is the path towards a better future”, he said. ”I see remarkable progress in the security and political situation in Kosovo. But much remains to be done”.
In Pristina the Secretary General also met with Ms. Atifete Jahjaga, with Mr. Haki Demolli, with Mr. Branimir Stojanović and with Mr. Hashim Thaçi for an exchange of views.
We discussed the next round of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue mediated by the European Union.  NATO fully supports this dialogue. Dialogue is possible because of improved security.  It offers the hope of a better future for people across this region. And it is vital to ensure that agreements are turned into realities”, the Secretary General said. “So this is a time of great opportunity for Kosovo and for this region. And I trust that all leaders and communities will use this opportunity to look to the future, not the past.
During the visit, the Secretary General also met with and with representatives from international organisations.

No comments: