British forces reinforce NATO’s peace mission in Kosovo

The Ministry of Defense announced the arrival of the first 200 soldiers in Pristina as part of a deployment aimed at strengthening the NATO peacekeeping mission of the Kosovo Force (KFOR). This measure was taken in response to the violent attack on Kosovo police on September 24, which led to increased tensions in the region.

These soldiers belong to the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, and will join the existing British contingent of 400 soldiers who remain in Kosovo after annual training aimed at promoting stability.

In addition to the soldiers, the press release indicates that the peacekeeping force will include hundreds of vehicles that will be transported by sea.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The UK is an important NATO ally. Within days, the UK responded to NATO’s call for reinforcements and deployed an additional 200 soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment of the Kosovo Force (KFOR). “This demonstrates the response of the British Armed Forces.”

KFOR, which operates under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, has been operating in Kosovo since 1999, with more than 4,500 soldiers from 27 NATO allies and partners. The UK’s commitment to this initiative is substantial and, in addition to deploying forces, it is providing two intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance units. Officers from the United Kingdom General Staff are also cooperating at the mission headquarters.

The UK is working closely with international partners to urge Kosovo and Serbia to reduce tensions and resume dialogue. The Prime Minister held talks with Serbian President Vucic and Kosovo President Osmani during the European Political Group meeting in Grenada, and urged a reduction in tension.

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Europe Minister Leo Docherty will meet the foreign ministers of Serbia and Kosovo in the Albanian capital Tirana during a Berlin Process meeting, a forum focused on strengthening regional cooperation in the Western Balkans. These efforts build on the work of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, Lord Peach, who maintains regular contact with stakeholders from Serbia and Kosovo to promote regional stability.

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