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KFOR News Release: Speech by General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, COMKFOR, on March 10, 2000

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Posted
Originally published
Camp Monteith/Gnjilane, 10 March 2000
I have recently returned from new york where Dr. Kouchner and I addressed the security council about the kosovo situation. The UN Security Council was a very receptive audience and listened very attentively to our demands. One of the major themes, which I spoke about, was the Presevo Valley problem, which is what I wish to talk about today.

KFOR's mission in kosovo, based on United Nations resolution 1244 and the military technical agreement is "to maintain a secure environment, to monitor, and if necessary enforce compliance with the military technical agreement, the undertaking, and the military aspects of an eventual political settlement".

Even-handedness and treating people with dignity and respect have been the driving principles behind all KFOR operations since our arrival in june 1999. Our charter is clear - we are here to enforce the provisions of unscr 1244 and the military technical agreement within the borders and boundaries of Kosovo.

The recent series of events in the presevo valley are of great concern. The situation along the kosovo and presevo valley boundary region constitutes a threat to peace and security for Kosovo and could develop into a regional security issue. Any unrest, instability or insurgency operations within the presevo valley are clearly not in the interest of the international community, KFOR military forces, the people of Kosovo, or the people of the presevo valley

Therefore, we condemn any actual or threatened actions against the population who live in the neighbouring regions of Serbia.

KFOR has significantly increased its security posture along the provincial boundary with the presevo valley region in order to detect any cross border movements.

We are also prepared to take all necessary actions to ensure that Kosovo is not used as a staging base for exporting violence into the Presevo Valley, or indeed attempting to extend violence back into Kosovo. Any insurgent activity based in kosovo and the conduct of cross border operations cannot and will not be condoned or tolerated.

The international community categorically rejects supporting, or even tacitly allowing any armed conflict or insurgency activity in the Presevo Valley. There is no kfor support of any kind being provided to any group operating in that region.

The integrity of the recognised provincial boundary must be respected. Any activity that endangers the progress achieved to date in Kosovo must not be tolerated, regardless of the nature of the group engaged in such activity.