NATO has no plan to downsize the presence of its peacekeeping troops in Kosovo, says KFOR commander General Salvatore Cuoci.

If and when this happens it will only be as a result of the assessment that there is improvement on the ground, he told Kosovapress, Tanjug reported on Monday, citing UNMIK’s Media Observer.

In the meantime, KFOR continues to perform its duties, continues to control the administrative boundary line, continues to guarantee a safe and secure environment for all, Cuoci said.

Kosovapress reported on Sunday that Cuoci also stated during the interview that “the overall situation in Kosovo is stable and peaceful despite the recent events in the north” – an apparent reference to the January 16 murder of Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic.

“We, along with all institutions and particularly the international community, are trying to maintain a calm situation and I have to say that although the recent event was something deeply emotion that in a way affected the security in Kosovo, we are trying to keep a peaceful situation,” Cuoci said, and, according to Tanjug, added that he conveyed this assessment to the Serbian Army chief and told him there was “no reason to worry.”

As for the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into an army, the Italian general said this should be carried out “through constitutional changes.”

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