World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


NATO Military Alliance Will Remain In Kosovo

By Stefan Bos

NATO to Stay in Kosovo

The NATO military alliance says it will remain in Kosovo even if leaders of the Serbian province fail to reach an agreement with Serbia. Friday's announcement at a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels comes just days before a December 10 deadline for an end to internationally backed negotiations on the future status of Kosovo.

NATO spokesman James Appathurai told reporters that NATO ministers have agreed to keep their KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo at its current strength of just over 16,000 troops.

Appathurai also made clear that NATO will have more soldiers on standby, amid concerns that plans by ethnic Albanian leaders to declare the province independent from Serbia will spark new unrest in the Balkans.

"Allies agree that U.N. Security Council resolution 1244 provides a platform for the continuing presence of NATO forces in Kosovo," said Appathurai. "Second that they commit to maintain the force levels of KFOR at the levels that we have them or to adjust them as necessary. That includes, if necessary, reinforcements."

Friday's agreement on the peacekeepers' future role in Kosovo came after NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said it was important to ensure security for all ethnic groups in the troubled province.

"NATO's continued commitment to the security and stability of the region remains crucial," he said. "And we will act resolutely against anyone who seeks to resort to violence. Regardless of the outcome of the status process, Kosovo will remain and has to remain a place where Kosovar Albanians, Serbs and others must be able live in peace together free from fear and intimidation."

The peacekeepers have been in Kosovo since 1999 when NATO forced Serb troops to end a brutal crackdown on the independence seeking ethnic Albanian majority of the province.

International mediators are expected to report to the United Nations on Monday that efforts to reach a compromise between Kosovo's government and Belgrade have failed.

Russia wants further mediation between Serbia, which opposes independence, and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership.

However, Western governments involved in the negotiations say the time has come to settle Kosovo's status.

Analysts expect the United States and most European Union countries to recognize an independent Kosovo. However, Western officials have expressed hopes that Kosovo's leaders will wait with a declaration of independence till late January, to give NATO and the European Union more time to prepare for it.


More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news