Croatia to help Kosovo security forces on path to NATO

Croatian Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic said in Pristina on Thursday that Croatia supported the development of Kosovo security forces and Pristina’s aspirations to enter NATO, expressing Croatia’s readiness to share the experience of its Armed Forces in the necessary adjustments and further development of Kosovo troops.
Kotromanovic arrived in Pristina for an official visit at the invitation of his host and former fellow soldiers, Kosovo Security Forces Minister Agim Ceku.

According to a statement issued by the Croatian Defence Ministry, the signing of the Annual Plan of Bilateral Defence Cooperation for 2013 clearly states Croatia’s readiness to assist Kosovo’s defence sector.

The statement also said that the two minister talked about the security situation in Kosovo and the region, progress in dialogue with Serbia, the role of NATO and the EU in the stabilisation process, the fight against organised crime, corruption and smuggling. Kotromanovic said Croatia planned to maintain active within the NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo (KFOR) as long as it is necessary to achieve permanent stability in this youngest European state.

Commenting on the situation in northern Kosovo, both sides agreed that Kosovo security forces need to play a deciding role in securing conditions for Kosovo Serbs to feel safe, the statement said.

The Croatian minister also held talks with KFOR commander, Major General Volker Halbauer, the statement said.