Afghanistan and Kosovo remain NATO's priority
NATO Foreign Ministers began their discussion on 7 October in Brussels on the Alliance commitment in Kosovo and the situation in Afghanistan, including its political and military dimension.
Maintaining NATO-led Force in Kosovo
In a Ministerial session of the North Atlantic Council on 7 December, Ministers agreed that NATO will continue to play its role in ensuring peace and security in Kosovo and that KFOR’s presence and mandate will not change.
“Kosovo will remain and has to remain a place where Kosovar Albanians, Serbs and others must be able to live in peace together – free from fear, and free from intimidation. And we are determined to play our part”, said the Secretary General.
Foreign Ministers agreed that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 is a sufficient and appropriate legal basis for KFOR to continue its role.
Ministers also concluded that KFOR’s force levels will remain as they are, and that no new restrictions will be placed on the use of those forces.
A long-term commitment in Afghanistan
On Afghanistan, Ministers took a political look at the situation in Afghanistan and how to build on the progress that has been built until now.
Ministers agreed that military and civilian efforts are yielding results and that there is a need to work on improving coordination amongst the various civilian and military parts of the international effort.
The Secretary General stressed that NATO’s objective “is to support the Afghan National Security Forces as they increasingly assume responsibility for security in their country”, and that “ISAF’s role will evolve accordingly as this process proceeds.”
Looking to the Bucharest Summit
Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on the enlargement and other security topics relevant for the agenda of the 2008 Bucharest Summit.