Updated: 19-Mar-2004 NATO Press Releases


19 March 2004

NATO resolved to help bring Kosovo violence under control

19/03/2004 - SHAPE
NATO’s strategic reserve forces deploy to Kosovo
18/03/2004 - NATO
Press statement on the situation in Kosovo
18/03/2004 - SHAPE
NATO deploys "prudent reinforcements" to Kosovo in response to violence
17/03/2004 - NATO
Statement by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on the situation in Kosovo
NATO role in Kosovo
Key links
KFOR online

The NATO Council has met again today to assess the security situation in Kosovo.

NATO is resolved to help bring this violence under control as quickly as possible. The Alliance is deploying additional troops from the previously designated operational and strategic reserve to ensure that KFOR has all the resources necessary. These deployments include, to date:

  • Four companies from SFOR that will be in theatre today
  • lead elements of a UK battalion that will be in theatre today
  • lead elements of French battalion from the Strategic Reserve will be in theatre today
  • Italian battalion deploying in the coming days
  • German battalion on four days notice to move – lead elements already on their way
  • Romanian company on four days notice to move.

KFOR is taking robust action to restore stability, and to protect all citizens of Kosovo regardless of their ethnic identity. KFOR troops are protecting Kosovar Serbs and other minorities from attack, as well as ethnic Albanians where necessary. As additional resources are made available to him, ComKFOR is also now deploying troops to help protect designated sites in Kosovo. KFOR is also working in close co-operation with the UN Mission in Kosovo.

KFOR is carrying out its mission in a determined and effective manner. At the same time, political leaders in Kosovo must take effective, concrete action to stop the violence and restore calm. Kosovar Albanian leaders bear a heavy responsibility in this regard and the Secretary General has conveyed that message to the Prime Minister of Kosovo. He has also spoken to the Prime Minister of Serbia, and the Foreign and Defence Ministers of Serbia and Montenegro urging them to refrain from statements and actions that would further heighten tensions.

The Secretary General is also consulting closely with UN Secretary General Annan, as well the High Representative in Kosovo, Mr. Holkeri.

There should be no doubt: this kind of ethnic conflict does nothing for Kosovo. It is squandering the progress Kosovo has made in meeting the standards set by the international community. It is undermining any rapprochement by Kosovo to Euro-Atlantic institutions. It is a tragic and misguided return to the kind of violence which has no place in Europe. Allies are firmly resolved to help bring this violence to an end.

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