NATO Secretary General with Ms. Vjosa Osmani of Kosovo, 07 SEP 2023

28.09.2023 • 1080p
Joint press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu at NATO Headquarters, 7 September 2023. 🗣 | NATO Secretary General: Ms Osmani, dear Vjosa, Welcome to NATO Headquarters. It’s great to see you again. We just discussed the recent tensions in the north of Kosovo. And the continuing importance of NATO’s KFOR peacekeeping mission under the mandate of the UN Security Council resolution 1244. Our KFOR troops were attacked earlier this year. Leaving 93 of them injured, some seriously. This is totally unacceptable. The stability of the region and the safety of KFOR troops depends on all actors honouring their existing commitments. NATO considers these to be of the highest importance, and expects them to be fully met. In line with Pristina’s commitment from 2013, any deployment of the Kosovo Security Force to the North of Kosovo requires the concurrence of KFOR. And we expect timely and meaningful consultation on any action of the Kosovo Security Force or Kosovo Police that could impact the security environment. In response to the recent unrest, NATO has deployed hundreds of additional troops to Kosovo. KFOR continues to monitor the situation closely. And we stand ready to act as necessary to fulfil our UN mandate: To maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities in Kosovo. Neutrality and impartiality are central to the success of our mission. And our commander in Kosovo is in close contact with both the security organisations in Kosovo and the Serbian Chief of Defence. I welcome recent steps taken by Pristina to lower tensions. Including reducing the number of special police in the north, And plans to facilitate new municipal elections. But it is essential to avoid further escalation. So I urge all parties to avoid inflammatory rhetoric. And to act with restraint and in line with their commitments. NATO strongly supports the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. I welcome the announcement of another high-level dialogue meeting next week. This is the only way to resolve outstanding issues. And to reach a solution that respects the rights of all communities. This requires patience, perseverance and compromise. It is also an opportunity for Kosovo to demonstrate that it is a responsible actor, working constructively for the benefit of Euro-Atlantic security. So once again, welcome. It’s great to see you here and thank you so much for a very fruitful and important meeting.