NATO announced that it would beef up its Kosovo Force (KFOR) amid rising tensions in the predominantly ethnic-Serb north.
“Yesterday the North Atlantic Council authorized additional forces to address the current situation,” the alliance said in a statement on Friday.
The statement added that NATO’s KFOR mission maintains a visible and agile presence across Kosovo.
“We will always take all necessary actions to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people living in Kosovo. We do so impartially and in line with our UN mandate.”
The alliance also affirmed that they will continue to make sure that their commander has the resources and flexibility necessary for KFOR to fulfill its mandate. They also called on all parties to urgently de-escalate.
“We continue to urge Belgrade and Pristina to engage in the EU-facilitated dialogue, as the only way to resolve outstanding issues and reach solutions that respect the rights of all communities. This is key for lasting security in Kosovo and stability in the region.”
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic demanded have a NATO-led peacekeeping force take over for the national law enforcement agency in northern Kosovo.
This came after a daylong shootout between armed Serbs and Kosovar police left one officer and three gunmen dead.
Kurti accused the Serbian government on Sunday of logistically supporting “the terrorist, criminal, professional unit” that fired on Kosovo Police officers. Vucic denied the allegations, saying the gunmen were local Kosovo Serbs “who no longer want to withstand Kurti’s terror.”