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          Objectives in Balkans must be seen through optic of overall objective of the Alliance, which is creation of long-term stability throughout Euro-Atlantic area, based on commonality of values and strategic interests. Specific objective in the Balkans, where NATO heavily engaged in Crisis-Response Operations, is the establishment of sustainable peace, opening the way to Euro-Atlantic integration. In the near term, this involves efforts to contain crises or, when possible, prevent them. Recently agreed Task Force Fox aside, other 2 NATO-led operations in the Balkans (KFOR and SFOR) focus their efforts on an end-state, rather than an end-date. Generally speaking, the primary goal of both missions is to ensure a safe and secure environment, in which agencies responsible for civilian implementation can do their work, helping all citizens to rebuild their lives. Specific, targeted support is also given in instances where it is essential for achieving wider civilian-implementation objectives, such as: support for bringing PIFWCs to justice; support for elections; public security; and the safe return of DPREs.

          A key aspect to helping build domestic stability and successful transition in the Balkans is promotion of defence reform, including the monitoring of defence budgets in each country. This is pursued through a range of activities and other programs, including PfP. Key element of success for NATO-led missions is conducting them impartially, without favor or prejudice to any party, and in full accordance with all applicable international law, including international humanitarian law. Another key element of success is to draw widely on knowledge and perspectives from interested nations throughout the IC. Over 30 nations participate in SFOR and KFOR, including Russia, which continues to be an invaluable strategic partner. Extremely close cooperation and coordination with key IOs is also a top priority, including the UN, OSCE and EU.

          To achieve these goals and objectives, NATO relies on two main categories of tools: short-term tools, which include immediate activities for crisis prevention or management, and longer-term tools. Longer-term tools include engagement through the EAPC/PfP, the MAP process, SEEI, and support through the Stability Pact, including SEECAP.

           

          KFOR

          In accordance with UNSCR 1244, KFOR, a robust peacekeeping force of nearly 50,000 troops was deployed on 12 June, 1999 to restore and consolidate peace in Kosovo. NATO is firmly committed to UNSCR 1244 and to a peaceful, united, multiethnic and democratic Kosovo, and ready to cooperate with Belgrade to this end. Today, KFOR has about 42,000 personnel deployed in Kosovo, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[1], in Albania, and in Greece, including troops from 16 Partner countries, including Russia, and four non-NATO Partner nations.

          KFOR has five main areas of responsibility under UNSCR 1244:

          1.   Deterrence. Deterring renewed hostilities in Kosovo and reacting to any threat against KFOR troops.

          2.    Provision of a safe and secure environment in which all people of Kosovo can live freely and UNMIK, IOs and NGOs can work in safety. Key aspect of creating this environment is encouraging return of refugees and displaced persons from all communities. Other main effort is helping UN Police and the KPS to ensure public safety and order throughout Kosovo. In pursuit of this task, KFOR conducts between 500 and 750 patrols, operates over 40 temporary or static checkpoints and guards over 150 patrimonial sites on a 24-hour basis, every day. On any given day, two out of three KFOR soldiers are out, conducting security operations, with a particular focus on minority protection. In Pristina, for instance, British soldiers are living with and guarding individual Serb families. KFOR soldiers regularly escort Serb and Roma children to schools. Other soldiers protect the civil and religious infrastructure and some minority groups.

          3.    Demilitarise and transform the Kosovo Liberation Army. Following the end of hostilities, a major concern was preventing former fighters from drifting towards organized crime or extremist groups. To do this, the KPC was created as a civilian public-service organization, working for the benefit of all citizens of Kosovo. Besides receiving various types of disaster-relief training, the KPC will also become responsible for EOD clearance operations. On the whole, this has been very successful, with the KPC having performed thousands of hours of work rebuilding critical infrastructure, as well as other civil-service projects. But there is still work to be done. The KPC remains 98% mono-ethnic, and we are still waiting for the first Kosovar-Serb members, modalities for which are currently under discussion. Despite occasional acts of non-compliance by individual KPC members, the process remains under strict control, and KFOR and UNMIK remain committed to the strictest enforcement of the KPC Code of Conduct, including by taking actions such as the recent dismissal of high ranking KPC personnel.

          4.   Support to international humanitarian effort. KFOR has provided wide-ranging support to all facets of infrastructure repair.

          5.    Support to the international civil presence within Kosovo - UNMIK. KFOR maintains a good and close working relationship with UNMIK and each of the Pillars, Police and Justice (UN); Civil Administration (UNMIK itself); Institution Building (OSCE) and Reconstruction (EU).

           

          NATO-FRY Relations

          Sine the landmark democratic changes in Belgrade, relations between the FRY and NATO steadily developing. Changes opened new opportunities for cooperation on issues of common interest, as well as enhanced regional cooperation which contributes to peace and stability in South East Europe, NATO ultimate aim as I have said. Intensified contacts have been key in this development, such as: Minister Goran Svilanovic's attendance of the EAPC Ministerial in Budapest in May 2001; Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic and Goran Svilanovic's addresses to NAC; FRY participation in the Ad Hoc Committee on DU; FRY contribution to the South East Europe Common Assessment Paper (SEECAP), a regionally-led activity within NATO's South East Europe Initiative.

          Peaceful settlement of crisis in Southern Serbia is a key building block for NATO-FRY cooperation. Return of FRY/Serbian Forces into the GSZ in the framework of the Covic peace plan was a success. Allies attach utmost importance to the continuing implementation of the CBMs in Southern Serbia. NATO remains fully committed to UNSCR 1244 and peaceful, united, multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo. Ready to cooperate with Belgrade to this end. Support cooperation on the ground between UNMIK/KFOR/FRY. Looking ahead in NATO-FRY relations: NATO is ready to consider further cooperation with FRY. Important issues to consider: continuing cooperation with ICTY, VJ restructuring and reform, continued restructuring of relations between FRY and RS Army in accordance with the Dayton Peace Accords. NATO remains fully committed to peace and stability in the Balkans and thus in the wider Euro-Atlantic area. Look forward to continuing development of NATO-FRY cooperation to this end.

           

           

          [1] Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

        • Tags: nato, Balkan, Euro Atlantic integration, Partnership for Peace, SFOR, KFOR, international organisations, UNSCR 1244, United nations, UNMIK, Kosovo, FRY
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