Saturday, February 04, 2006

Kosovo premier calls on NATO, US not to reduce peacekeeping forces

Text of report in English by independent internet news agency KosovaLive

Prishtina [Pristina], 3 February: Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi called today on NATO and in particular on the US not to reduce their troops in Kosova [Kosovo] during this decisive time of settling the status.

"The American contingent has done a great job and it is one of the most effective parts of Kfor [Kosovo Force]. It also is the most respected force by the citizens here. Therefore, now when Kosova is entering a decisive period of settling the status, it would not be good if number of Kfor troops, especially the number of American troops, is reduced," the prime minister said.

This reaction came after the remarks of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who during an interview with the Financial Times announced that US plans reducing the number of its troops in Kosova.

While, Jessen-Petersen said that during a meeting with NATO Secretary-General he was told that Kfor will continue to be committed in Kosova.

"In London's meeting I had the opportunity to talk with the NATO secretary-general who told me privately, and the Contact Group, that NATO is fully committed to maintain the current size of force in Kosova. There may be restructuring, but they are committed to keep their presence here," Jessen-Petersen said.

NATO numbers some 17,500 soldiers in Kosova.

Source: KosovaLive website, Pristina, in English 3 Feb 06

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is what Mr. Rumsfeld said:

“We are all working together in Kosovo and the Balkans. Of course, we all went in together, and we have said we will come out together ... I am personally hoping that we can continue to reduce some of our forces there.”

Of course the USA officials want to reduce troops levels overseas where they can, but Mr. Rumsfeld clearly states that there will be American forces in Kosova until the KFOR mission is complete.