Secretary General in Pristina: “NATO will do what is necessary to maintain a safe and secure environment in Kosovo”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Dr Vjosa Osmani of Kosovo in Pristina on Monday (20 November 2023) to discuss the security situation in Kosovo and the wider region.
Mr Stoltenberg condemned both the outbreak of violence in northern Kosovo in September and the attacks on KFOR troops in May which left 93 injured, describing the attacks as “unacceptable”. Following these incidents, NATO has deployed around 1,000 additional troops to Kosovo, sent heavier armour, and stepped up patrols in the north. These steps will ensure that KFOR has the forces, capabilities and flexibility to fulfil its UN mandate. The Secretary General said: “We will do what is necessary to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo.”
Mr Stoltenberg further underlined that stability in the region depends on all sides choosing diplomacy over violence, and honouring existing commitments. He expressed strong support for the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and welcomed the latest proposals for the establishment of the association of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo, saying that “this would be a key step toward normalisation of the relationship, and toward lasting peace and prosperity in the region.”
Earlier on Monday, the Secretary General visited NATO’s Camp Nothing Hill where he met KFOR Commander Major General Özkan Ulutaş and addressed the troops, thanking them for the stability their presence brings to the Western Balkans region.