NATO's Stoltenberg Tells Kosovo That KFOR Mission Is There To Stay.

PRISTINA -- During a visit to Kosovo, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance-led peacekeeping force will remain in the country to secure “peace and stability” in the Western Balkans, and urged local leaders to work toward normalizing relations with neighboring Serbia.

History has shown that the “KFOR mission is important not only for Kosovo and for the region, but also for NATO and for all NATO allies,” Stoltenberg told a press conference in Pristina on July 1.

The Western military alliance has led KFOR since 1999, with more than 3,700 troops from over two dozen countries, after a 78-day NATO bombing campaign ended the 1998-1999 Kosovo War that left more than 10,000 dead.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, but it has not been recognized by Belgrade, Russia, and five EU nations. The United States and more than 110 other countries have recognized the independence of Serbia’s former province.

During his visit, Stoltenberg visited KFOR troops at Camp Bondsteel and met with top Kosovar officials.

In the talks, Stoltenberg said he had underlined the importance of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.

"I think the most important thing Kosovo can do now is to continue to work for a political solution, to continue to engage in a political dialogue with Belgrade, because at some stage you need to see a normalization,” Stoltenberg told the press conference.

“That would be important when it comes to the relationship between Pristina and Belgrade, but it will also be important when it comes to Kosovo’s relationship with all international institutions, including NATO."

Serbian and Kosovar leaders met two weeks ago in Brussels as part of decade-long negotiations aimed at resolving disputes, but the talks failed to make progress.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Jailed Kazakh Opposition Activist Released From Prison.

Jailed Kazakh Opposition Activist Released From Prison.

Kazakh opposition activist Aset Abishev, who was jailed for supporting the activities of the banned Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan movement, has been released from a penal colony after serving more than 2 1/2 years in prison.

Radio Free Europe

Marine vet reacts to 'disturbing' assessment of US ability to respond to China.

Marine vet reacts to 'disturbing' assessment of US ability to respond to China.

Veteran Josiah Lippincott tells 'The Ingraham Angle' how we may strengthen America's weakest links #Ingraham #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassi...

'Outnumbered' debates Simone Biles' withdrawal from Olympic events.

'Outnumbered' debates Simone Biles' withdrawal from Olympic events.

Simone Biles cited 'mental health' as the reason she did not compete in the team final competition. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service de...

Homan: DHS trying to 'hide' border apprehension numbers.

Homan: DHS trying to 'hide' border apprehension numbers.

Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan blasts Biden administration over border crisis Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breakin...

Media gave Biden a 'pass' for comments on Facebook: Kurtz - FOX News Rundown.

Media gave Biden a 'pass' for comments on Facebook: Kurtz - FOX News Rundown.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance Tuesday, recommending that people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 should again wear masks indoors in areas of the U.S. where the virus is surging. The CDC also recommends that...

Lithuania facing migration wave on Belarus border - DW News.

Lithuania facing migration wave on Belarus border - DW News.

A growing number of African and Middle Eastern migrants have been illegally entering Lithuania from Belarus. The country says it is finding it hard to cope. Lithuania and Belarus share a 680-kilometer (423-mile) border. In many places, the two cou...

'Increasingly confident' more countries will move into amber/green list - Raab.

'Increasingly confident' more countries will move into amber/green list - Raab.

The Foreign Secretary has told Kay Burley more countries will soon be added to the amber and green lists. Mr Raab also told Sky News the UK will only become available to countries with whom we have a "high trust in the mechanism for verifying doub...