KFOR will prevent destabilization, says NATO chief

BELGRADE -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Serbian Minister of Defense Dragan Šutanovac that KFOR will do everything possible to prevent destabilization.

They discussed security issues in Kosovo and Metohija, with a special emphasis on the preparations and course of the presidential and parliamentary elections which will be held in Serbia on 6 May.

The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that Šutanovac welcomed the increase in KFOR troops and their preventive and temporary deployment, with the aim of ensuring the safety of all citizens in Kosovo-Metohija.

Šutanovac insisted that KFOR forces ensure the smooth running of the electoral process in the province, in accordance with the agreement made between the Serbian government and the OSCE and pointed out to Rasmussen that there are people in whose interest it is to cause incidents during the elections and urged KFOR to act preventively with the power of its authority to avoid any such thing.

He underlined that good relations that have been established between the Serbian Army and KFOR are of vital importance and that now both sides have to justify the capacity to perform the tasks that are ahead of them.

Rasmussen said that KFOR will maintain its status neutral position and that it will act within the mandate defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo Agreement.

The NATO secretary-general emphasized that KFOR will do everything to prevent any kind of destabilization and possible conflicts, because it is in the interest of KFOR to achieve a high level of security for everybody in Kosovo-Metohija, the statement adds.