NATO calls for de-escalation in Kosovo

NATO Saturday called on all the institutions in Kosovo to de-escalate the situation after police in Kosovo clashed with local Serbs who gathered in front of the municipal building to block the newly-elected ethnic Albanian mayor from entering his office yesterday.

“We urge the institutions in Kosovo to de-escalate immediately & call on all parties to resolve the situation through dialogue,” said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu, on her Twitter account.

“NATO-KFOR remains vigilant & will ensure a safe & secure environment,” she added.

According to media reports, Serbia on Friday ordered its army to move closer to the border with Kosovo and urged NATO to urgently stop violence against local Serbs in Kosovo.

Ethnic Albanians make up more than 90 percent of the population in Kosovo, with Serbs in the majority only in the northern region.

NATO deployed into Kosovo in 1999, in the wake of a 78-day air campaign against the then regime of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

According to NATO information, KFOR now consists of approximately 3,700 troops to help maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people and communities in Kosovo.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbian rule in 2008 but Serbia has refused to recognize its independence.

Source: Kuwait News Agency