New SACEUR makes first visit to Kosovo

30 Jul 2009

SACEUR visits KFOR

MONS, Belgium - Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), travelled to Pristina, Kosovo, on 29 July, to meet with Kosovo Security Force (KSF) Minister Fehmi Mujota; Commander of NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR), Lieutenant-General Giuseppe Emilio Gay; and KFOR Multinational Task Forces (MNTF) commanders.

Stavridis took the opportunity to discuss; the current Kosovo security situation, NATO's recent decision to reduce the profile of NATO forces in Kosovo, the KSF training and recruiting progress, training resources and equipment requirements, as well as the current status of the EULEX deployment.

"I am very satisfied with the latest developments in Kosovo. The NAC decision to further reduce the profile of NATO forces in Kosovo, in gradual and phased manner, is a clear indication of confidence in local capacity, capability and responsibility. The government of Kosovo is steadily taking on more and more of the responsibility for ensuring the rule of law and governance of the Kosovo population,” said Stavridis after meeting with Minister Mujota.

"NATO will remain committed to promoting peace, stability, prosperity and respect for human rights in the region. Our goal is to see the responsibility for maintaining peace shift to the local population and institutions,” further emphasized Admiral Stavridis.

Addressing MNTF commanders Stavridis said: "The progress NATO achieved in Kosovo is significant and KFOR's move toward Deterrent Presence is a sign of the Alliance's confidence in the progress made. It allows NATO to adopt a new force structure concept reducing the number of troops deployed in Kosovo,” Stavridis continued.

During his Kosovo visit, Stavridis also visited Gazimestan monument, the site of the Battle of Kosovo, which took place in 1389 and Sultan Murad's Tomb.
It was Admiral's Stavridis first visit in Kosovo since assuming his post as SACEUR, commander of NATO's Allied Command Operations earlier this month.

The Gulfstream Jet is awaiting Admiral Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), to fly him to his first visit to Kosovo Force on 29th July 2009.
Admiral Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, catching up on business during the trip on the Gulfstream Jet to Kosovo.
Admiral Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, catching up on business during the trip on the Gulfstream Jet to Kosovo.
SACEUR [Supreme Allied Commander Europe ] Admiral James Stavridis is flown by Blackhawk helicopter from Pristina airport to Film City[ HQ KFOR] on his first trip to Kosovo.