NATO mission in Kosovo ready to intervene if necessary

KFOR calls for dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade

01 August, 12:44

    (ANSAmed) - BELGRADE, 01 AGO - The Kosovo Force NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR), keeps close oversight on the situation at the border between Kosovo and Serbia, where inter-ethnic tension is mounting again. KFOR is ready "to intervene should stability be at risk", according to its mandate enshrined by the UN's Security Council. This announcement was made in a press release this evening. KFOR highlights it is in contact with both parties, the Serbs and the Kosovars, and it has launched a call for dialogue, while reiteratin that "it will resort to all necessary measures to maintain stability".

    The Serb population, which more prevalent in the North of Kosovo, as of 1 August, will have to hold identity documents issued by Kosovar authorities and, by the end of September, it will have to substitute the Serbian car license plates with those of Kosovo.

    Following the protests and road blocs the Serbs have set-up, Pristina has decided in the evening to close all border passes to Jarinje and Brnjak. Albin Kurti, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, has accused the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic of responsibility for fueling the inter-ethnic tensions. On his part Vucic has warned Pristina, calling for an immediate halt to hostile policies against Serbs, while at the same time asking the Serbian population to keep calm and not to respond to any 'provocation'.

    In the press release, distributed late last evening, it was confirmed that the Hungarian General Ferenc Kajari, leading the KFOR, is in constant contact with all concerned institutions and with top Serbian military command. Kfor is comprised of 3.500 men, it has been present on the territory since the end of the conflict in 1999, with Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council.

    The new tensions in Kosovo and the mutual accusations between Belgrade and Pristina created additional problems for the dialogue facilitated by the EU and push away the hope of organizing- at least in the short time period- a summit between Vucic and Kurti, as advocated by the European mediator, Miroslav Lajcak. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved