From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO:  Today, the North Atlantic Council declared that the Kosovo Security Force has reached full operational capability and is fully capable of performing the tasks assigned to it within its mandate, to standards designated by NATO.

I congratulate all members of the Kosovo Security Force on the achievement of this step. I thank the servicemen and servicewomen of KFOR for all they have done to help build the Kosovo Security Force.

The Kosovo Security Force mission remains the same as it always has been: to conduct civil protection operations and to assist the civil authorities in responding to natural disasters and other emergencies. The Alliance will continue to provide support and advice through a NATO Liaison and Advisory Team.

KFOR’s mission is also unchanged: to provide a safe and secure environment for all people and communities in Kosovo. We will continue to fulfill that mission according to our United Nations mandate.

The future of the Western Balkans lies in dialogue and reconciliation. I therefore encourage members of all communities in Kosovo to consider joining the Kosovo Security Force, to ensure that it continues to become a truly multi-ethnic and representative force

Statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Kosovo Security Force reaching Full Operational Capability.  (graphic: wikimedia)