Kosovo to top the agenda as NATO defence ministers meet

Concerns over the disputed handover of authority from the United Nations to the European Union in Kosovo and a dispute over the status of the newly-independent country are set to top the agenda Thursday as NATO defence ministers meet in Brussels, dpa reported.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Thursday proposed that the UN's current law-and-order mission in Kosovo be reduced in size by some 70 per cent as its EU equivalent moves to take over.

But NATO officials have long said they fear that any slip in the handover could leave NATO peacekeeping troops in a policing role for which they are not prepared.

"We don't want KFOR to be in the position of first responder: it's not a police force, it should not be put in the position of being a police force. It is not mandated to play that role, our soldiers are not equipped or trained to play that role, and we should not ask them to do that," NATO spokesman James Appathurai said.

NATO maintains some 15,700 troops in a peacekeeping force known as KFOR in Kosovo. The force's mission is to maintain security within the ethnically-divided province.

Thursday's meeting is set to bring the defence ministers of the alliance's 26 members together with their counterparts from non-NATO states who have troops in KFOR, in order to discuss how KFOR should operate once Kosovo's new constitution comes into force on Sunday.

Under a plan drawn up by UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari in 2007, KFOR should continue providing security in Kosovo while training a lightly-armed Kosovo Security Force (KSF). The EU, meanwhile, should take over from UN administrators in training the Kosovo police and judiciary.

However, Russia, which holds a veto right on the UN Security Council, has rejected the Ahtisaari plan, making it unclear how the UN mission could hand over to the EU.

That lack of clarity has left NATO members worrying that KFOR could be forced to play a temporary policing role in Kosovo.

Moreover, not all NATO member states have recognized Kosovo's independence, making it as yet unclear how the alliance could legally agree to train the KSF.

Failure to agree on that point would not jeopardize KFOR's security, but it could be a "risk to (NATO's) reputation," one Brussels diplomat said.

Ministers are also set to discuss alliance operations in Afghanistan and attempts to modernize its forces, and to meet with their Russian and Ukrainian counterparts.

Iran intends to increase electricity exports
Iran intends to increase electricity exports
Iran, Serbia emphasize developing trade-industrial ties
Iran, Serbia emphasize developing trade-industrial ties
Turkey's 1Q2021 export of ready-made clothes to Iran grows
Turkey's 1Q2021 export of ready-made clothes to Iran grows
Loading Bars
Latest
12 European football teams to form breakaway 'Super League' throwing elite game into turmoil
Turkey confirms 55,802 new COVID-19 cases, 318 deaths
Five diplomats to stay in Czech embassy inn Moscow - presidential office
NASA's Mars helicopter to attempt first flight Monday
Turkey extends condolences to Egypt over deadly train accident
Albania opens 2nd int'l airport
Four dead in light plane crash near Paris
Israel reports 130 new COVID-19 cases, 837,012 in total
Canada's Trudeau mobilizes federal workers to battle COVID-19 in Toronto and rest of Ontario
Rockets strike Iraqi military base hosting U.S. contractors, Iraqi military says
Number of COVID-19 cases across globe up by over 809,000 in past day
Iran intends to increase electricity exports
Africa's COVID-19 cases surpass 4.42 mln: Africa CDC
20 employees of Czech embassy in Moscow declared personae non grata
Uzbekistan may start producing coronavirus vaccines by year end
Iran, Serbia emphasize developing trade-industrial ties
Turkey's 1Q2021 export of ready-made clothes to Iran grows
Kutaisi Int’l Airport receives first Wizz Air flight from Vilnius since start of pandemic
Mexican president to propose extension of welfare programs to curb migration
Verstappen wins F1 thriller at Imola
97 passengers wounded in Egypt's train derailment: ministry
Czech ambassador summoned to Russian foreign ministry
UK records another 1,882 coronavirus cases, 10 deaths
Weekly review of main events of Azerbaijani financial market
Cuba's Raul Castro leaves the political stage
Azerbaijan increases silver production
Turkey develops innovative COVID-19 vaccine, minister volunteers
Uzbekistan to receive Sputnik V vaccine by late April
Immunization to be temporarily suspended over Easter holidays
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 19
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling
At least 16 killed in clashes in South Sudan's Lakes State
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Astara port surges
Sudan calls on African countries to support reaching comprehensive solutions on Nile dam
Japan’s PM to Visit India, Philippines to Strengthen Regional Ties
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,144 more COVID-19 cases, 1,923 recoveries
India stresses fulfilling commitments for developing Chabahar
EAM Jaishankar to visit Abu Dhabi on Sunday
Sri Lanka to receive Chinese Sinopharm vaccine tomorrow
Biden names 2 Indian-Americans to key jobs
Ambedkar remembered on birth anniversary in Dubai
Shortcomings of multilateral system laid bare by pandemic, says Shringla
Maldives Foreign Minister meets Jaishankar, discusses regional, international issues
Israeli business interested in expanding cooperation with Kazakhstan
Number of licenses issued for launch of enterprises in Iran spikes
Delegation of Azerbaijani parliament takes part in events within session of CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani gymnasts take part in World Cup in Uzbekistan's Tashkent
Ford Otosan to suspend production due to supply issues
Georgian delegation to Participate in Spring Session of PACE
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 18
Azerbaijani hydroelectric power plants increase electricity production
China, U.S. agree on need for stronger climate commitments
Russia records over 8,600 daily COVID-19 cases
Azerbaijan shares footage from Saybali village of Aghdam district (VİDEO)
Serbia - gateway to European market for Iran - Deputy Minister
France to impose 10-day quarantine for travellers coming from Brazil
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry to engage archiving services via tender
Kyrgyzstan adds 244 new COVID-19 cases
Israel raises import of clothes from Turkey
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 18
Capital of Bank Keshavarzi Iran to increase
Iran's trade turnover with Georgia decreases
Azerbaijan's MFA issues appeal on occasion of April 18 - International Day for Monuments and Historic Sites
Azerbaijan shares footage from Tarovlu village of the Gubadli region (VİDEO)
Slovak investors note potential in Georgia's energy sector
Czechs expel 18 Russian envoys, accuse Moscow over ammunition depot blast
Azerbaijan's State Treasury Agency to update information systems via tender
Earthquake hits Georgia
Iran, Serbia FMs meet in Tehran
Magnitude 5.8 earthquake hits Japan
Kazakhstan’s COVID-19 caseload up by 2,822
Iran's trade turnover with Pakistan shrinks
Brazil registers over 370,000 deaths from COVID-19
5.8-magnitude quake strikes off Japan's Miyagi Prefecture
Iraq reports 6,552 new COVID-19 cases, 970,987 in total
More than 805,000 COVID-19 infections detected worldwide over past 24 hours
5.1-magnitude quake hits 20 km S of Mandraki, Greece
Israel reports 142 new COVID-19 cases, 836,882 in total
Yemen's Houthi rebels say launch drone attack on Saudi air base
India's sports minister tests positive for COVID-19
Weekly review of highlights in Azerbaijan's transport sector
EU to hand over 30 vehicles to Georgia Border Police
Turkish scientist works on drug that can ‘kill COVID-19 in 2 days’
Uzbekistan may start production of its own vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of the year
Russia's Eastwind, Turkmenistan's Turkmensvyaz to sign contract
UK records another 2,206 coronavirus cases, 35 deaths
Iranian official offers upbeat assessment of progress in nuclear talks
Volume of goods transported by Azerbaijan’s vehicles in 2021 disclosed
Indonesia reports 5,041 new COVID-19 cases, 132 new deaths
Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 3 mln - Johns Hopkins University
Geostat reveals volume of Russian exports to Georgia
Solar panel station put into operation in Iran’s Razavi Khorasan Province
New auction to be held for Azerbaijani Finance Ministry's mid-term bonds
Georgia increases import of vehicles from Turkey
Kyrgyzstan imposes restrictive measures at airports
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds in Iran
Foreigners to pass simplified visa procedures for 2021 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Serbian FM to visit Tehran today
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
All news