Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rasmussen: KFOR did not overstep UN mandate

BRUSSELS, 05.10.2011
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Wednesday rejected claims that KFOR in recent events in northern Kosovo overstepped the mandate it was given by the UN.

NATO believes that KFOR (in the north) reacted cautiously, decisively and fairly, respecting the mandate of the UN, Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels where a meeting of defense ministers of NATO member-countries is being held.

Rasmussen also said that the political dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, under the auspices of the EU, is the only solution for all in Kosovo, regardless of their ethnic origin.

NATO Secretary General stressed that the Alliance continues to attach great significance to the mission in Kosovo.

KFOR is a good example of success since it neutralized the conflict in the last 12 years and will not allowe violence to recur, he said, adding that KFOR will continue to fulfill its mandate, guaranteeing a safe neighborhood and free movement.

Rasmussen expressed his satisfaction with the close cooperation between KFOR and EULEX, saying that it is necessary for success.

However, fresh progress is necessary on the political level, Rasmussen said.

Peace, moderation and dialogue are necessary for a way out of the crisis, he said.

The political dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, under the auspices of the EU, the only solution for all in Kosovo, regardless of their ethnic origin, he concluded.

Rasmussen recalled that he recently spoke on that topic with the political leadership in Pristina, and that he passed the same message on several opportunities to Serbian President Boris Tadic.

He said that he called on all parties to engage constructively in this process.

Rasmussen said that he would like to see progress in the relations of all countries and communities in Western Balkans with Euro-Atlantic structures - the EU and NATO, and that a constructive political dialogue is need to that end.

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