NATO to halve troops in Kosovo to 5,000


BRUSSELS — NATO is to halve the number of its troops based in Kosovo from nearly 10,000 to 5,000 within months, secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement Friday. “Today, NATO has decided to adjust the KFOR presence in Kosovo,” the statement said, citing progress in the breakaway former Serbian province.

“Over the next few months, KFOR will progressively reduce its presence to around 5,000 troops in total, marking one more step in the adaptation of KFOR to a deterrent presence.”

The Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission was reduced in early 2010 from 15,000 to 10,000 soldiers.

“The security conditions in Kosovo continue to improve, which is a positive sign not only for Kosovo, but for the whole region. Local institutions are increasingly capable of assuming responsibility for security tasks,” Rasmussen said.