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NATO reacts after Vucic's statements that the withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK from Kosovo will be required

NATO reacts after Vucic's statements that the withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK

NATO responded to a statement by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on May 13, who said he had received information that one of the major powers would soon formally request the withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK forces from Kosovo.

"But all decisions in NATO, including those for KFOR, are taken in accordance with all 30 member states," one NATO official told Radio Free Europe.

The NATO official also said that the alliance has contributed to the stability of the Western Balkans for many years and continues to be committed to the region.

"Our KFOR mission is based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999, to provide a safe environment and freedom of movement for all communities living in Kosovo."

Although he did not say which country was in question, the Serbian president said yesterday that he would try to talk about the issue with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, with whom he is expected to meet on May 17 in Brussels.

For Vucic, the withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK from Kosovo would be a disaster, he said.

UNMIK, namely the United Nations Interim Mission, was deployed in Kosovo in 2000, following NATO airstrikes on Serbian military targets.

It is based on Resolution 1244, which was adopted by the United Nations Security Council in June 1999 and which is still in force.

Following Kosovo's declaration of independence in 2008, UNMIK handed over most of its responsibilities to the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX).

The NATO peacekeeping mission, KFOR, was also deployed in Kosovo in June 1999, following the withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo.

* Tiranapost.al.