NATO Secretary General meets Ms Osmani of Kosovo to discuss tensions in northern Kosovo
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Ms Vjosa Osmani of Kosovo at NATO Headquarters on Thursday (7 September 2023) to discuss the recent tensions in the north of Kosovo and the importance of NATO’s KFOR peacekeeping mission under its UN mandate.
“I welcome recent steps taken by Pristina to lower tensions, including reducing the number of special police in the north, and plans to facilitate new municipal elections. But it’s essential to avoid further escalation. So I urge all parties to avoid inflammatory rhetoric, and to act with restraint and in line with their commitments,” the Secretary General said.
Mr Stoltenberg welcomed the next round of the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina taking place next week. He said that the dialogue is the “only way to resolve outstanding issues and to reach a solution that respects the rights of all communities. This requires patience, perseverance and compromise,” he added.
In May this year, 93 KFOR troops were injured in unprovoked attacks in northern Kosovo, some seriously, which the Secretary General called “totally unacceptable.” He said: “we expect timely and meaningful consultation on any actions of the Kosovo Security Force or Kosovo Police that could impact the security environment.” Since the unrest, NATO has deployed hundreds of additional troops from its operational reserve force for the Western Balkans to Kosovo.