NATO will stick to plans to scale down its military presence in Kosovo, despite recent unrest there, alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday.
"Despite the unfortunate incidents, I don't think the overall security situation has changed," Rasmussen told a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
"So we will stick to the decision already taken that we will reduce the number of KFOR troops from a level of 15,000 to a level of 10,000 at the beginning of next year. I think the overall security situation has improved and the conditions are fulfilled that we can take that step...I think the overall security situation is quite satisfactory."
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, nine years after a NATO-led air war forced Serbian security forces out of the area, ending Belgrade's violence against ethnic Albanians.
Following Kosovo's independence declaration, the European Union deployed a police, customs and judiciary mission called Eulex to replace a United Nations mission.
NATO aims to cuts its troop presence to a little more than 2,000 over two years, although Rasmussen stressed that each further reduction would follow a thorough analysis of the security situation to ensure there was no negative impact in Kosovo or the region.
Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2009, 11:30