Croatia supports gradual reduction of KFOR forces

“The Republic of Croatia supports the reduction of NATO forces in Kosovo in accordance with the progress achieved in the field of security,” said among other things, Minister of Defense Branko Vukelic when participating in the discussion during today’s meeting of NATO defence ministers, held from the 4th to 5th of February 2010 in Istanbul.

At the same time, Vukelic also stressed that further reduction of forces should be in close relation with the developments in the area of operations, and stressed that Croatia has been giving its contribution to KFOR mission by participating with two transport helicopters and 20 soldiers.

Currently, ten thousand soldiers have been deployed in the KFOR mission, compared to the fifteen thousand troops NATO had on Kosovo in 2009.

Regarding the establishment of the Kosovo security forces, Croatia welcomes progress, given that these forces were critical for building sustainable security and stability, which was a prerequisite for Kosovo authorities to take permanent responsibility for their own safety.