NATO To Keep 'Robust' Force In Kosovo
8 December 2005 -- NATO has said it will remain a "robust" force in Kosovo during UN-mediated talks on the future status of the breakaway Serbian province.
NATO foreign ministers issued a statement in Brussels on 8 December urging ethnic Albanians and Serbs to complete those talks successfully.
The alliance's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, told reporters that any party using violence would meet a "strong response" from the 17,000 NATO troops in Kosovo.
Kosovo has been under UN administration since a 1999 NATO bombing campaign ended a Serb crackdown on Kosovar Albanians in the province.
Kosovo's ethnic Albanians want an independent Kosovo. Serbs see Kosovo as the cradle of their civilization, and say it should remain part of Serbia.
Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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