NATO has been leading a peacekeeping operation in Kosovo since June 1999 in support of wider international efforts to build peace and stability in Kosovo. The NATO-led Kosovo Force, or KFOR, deployed in the wake of a 78-day air campaign launched by the Alliance in March 1999 to halt and reverse the humanitarian catastrophe that was then unfolding.
Following Kosovo’s declaration of independence on 17 February 2008, the Alliance reaffirmed that KFOR shall remain in Kosovo on the basis of UN Security Resolution 1244, as agreed by Foreign Ministers in December 2007, unless the Security Council decides otherwise. The NATO-led Force will continue to cooperate closely with the population of Kosovo, the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and other international actors wherever appropriate to help further develop a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo. NATO currently has approximately 15 900 KFOR troops deployed in Kosovo to help maintain security and stability for all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin.
Status talks for Kosovo started in February 2006. The talks were initially led by UN Special Envoy for Kosovo, the former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari.
After fourteen months of negotiations, Mr. Ahtisaari presented his Comprehensive Proposal for a Kosovo Status Settlement to the UN Secretary General in March 2007.
On 1 August 2007, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched an extended period of engagement with the parties led this time by the EU, Russia, US Troika under the auspices of the Contact Group. By the end of the Troika’s mandate on 10 December 2007, Belgrade and Pristina failed to reach any agreement on Kosovo’s future status.
NATO supported the international process to determine the status of Kosovo from the start, including the efforts of President Ahtisaari and those of the Troika.
Today, the Alliance stands ready to play its part in the implementation of future security arrangements. NATO’s objective is to continue helping in the development of a stable, democratic, multiethnic and peaceful Kosovo.