Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Stars and Stripes| NATO general: Troops will stay in Kosovo as long as needed

Stars and Stripes| NATO general: Troops will stay in Kosovo as long as needed

PRISTINA, Kosovo — A senior NATO commander has assured Kosovo that the military alliance will maintain troops in the Balkan country "for as long as it's necessary."

NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, met with local officials and Western ambassadors during a visit Tuesday to Kosovo.

Some 4,500 troops from 31 countries have been deployed in Kosovo since June 1999, after NATO's 78-day air campaign to stop a bloody Serbian crackdown against ethnic Albanian separatists. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has not recognized it as a country.

"We will keep in place a flexible, determined presence and will make changes only when the security situation allows. KFOR remain a robust and credible force, capable of carrying out its mission for as long as it's necessary," Scaparrotti said.

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