Germany: KFOR capable of preventing Kosovo partition

Other News Materials 21 February 2008 20:27 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa ) - The KFOR peacekeeping force "has the capability for us to prevent" any partition of Kosovo, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Berlin on Thursday.

He was speaking after meeting with Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht in Berlin to discuss the diplomatic fallout from Sunday's Kosovo declaration of independence. Both Germany and Belgium have recognized the new state, angering Serbia.

To a journalist's question as to whether the West could prevent Kosovo's ethnic Serb regions breaking away from the new state, Steinmeier said that "even if that intention is lodged in the minds of some people," it could be prevented.

Steinmeier said the European Union's objective in Kosovo had always been "to ensure a democratic but also a multi-ethnic future."

De Gucht said, " Europe has taken the right decision." The Belgian minister added he hoped that Serbia would be willing to resume cooperation with the European Union "sooner rather than later."

Both ministers said the objective must be to develop Kosovo so that it became self-sustaining, with de Gucht saying the key was "to invest in the future."