The commander of NATO's joint allied force in Naples, Admiral James Fogo, said that NATO is ready to react if violent incidents break out in the Serb-majority area in northern Kosovo.
"Political leaders are trying to solve some difficult problems; not everyone agrees with democracies. Some people tend to bring their disagreements on the road. I strongly urge you not to do it or, if they do, to do it peacefully, as in all civil democracies. " - said Fogo.
The admiral's statement comes after the famous abbot of the Visoki Decani monastery, Sava Janjic, expressed his concern about potential clashes in northern Kosovo, designed to lead to a rapid division of the territory.
Janjic said he hoped that KFOR and NATO would remain firm in preserving peace.
"I sincerely hope that the international community, especially the US and the EU, will not allow irresponsible individuals and groups of both ethnic groups to cause violence in which innocent people could be involved." - added Janjic.
The abbot also urged political leaders in Serbia and Kosovo to reject requests for "possible territorial partition ... and to assume obligations for peaceful dialogue", adding that, otherwise, "they will have to assume a great political responsibility and moral ”.
James Fogo, from NATO, pointed out that the KFOR has more than enough means to deal with any disorder.
"The 4.000 [NATO soldiers] that remain within the territory and on the administrative lines of Kosovo are supported. So, if there is a need, they will respond, and NATO is very, very strong both inside and outside of Kosovo said Fogo.
Kosovo-Serbia: a bond never born
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in the 2008. However, the far north of the country, including the northern half of the city of Mitrovica, remains under the effective control of Belgrade.
Although Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo as a state, it has had to take part in EU-mediated talks with the authorities of Prishtina to normalize relations, in order to pursue its goal of EU membership. Furthermore, as Serbia's integration into the EU progresses, pressure is being applied in Belgrade to finally resolve its relations with the former separatist province, which most EU members have recognized ten years ago.
Combined with this pressure, talking about an exchange of territories - swapping the majority Albanian areas in southern Serbia for those with a Serbian majority in northern Kosovo - is a topic that has once again arisen among some Serbian and Kosovar politicians, although it has never been officially relieved.
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