1 February 2008 – The German Defense Ministry has announced that KFOR is ready to thwart any attacks on Kosovo’s civilian population.

Ministry officials have assured Deputy Defense Minister Dušan Spasojević that KFOR will prevent any flare-ups or attacks on the province’s civilian population in the coming period.

Spasojević met with German Defense Ministry Secretary of State Rudiger Wolf as part of negotiations on bilateral military cooperation between Germany and Serbia.

As the deputy defense minister told reporters after the meeting in Berlin, the German side had promised that “there will be no repeat of 2004,” when international forces were unable to prevent extremist Albanians attacking Serb civilians.

They said that “in the meantime, the necessary capacities and readiness have been developed to prevent any flare-ups directed at the civilian population.”

At the same time, Spasojević gave German officials assurances that Serbia would not react militarily to future goings-on in Kosovo, or the expected independence declaration.

He said that “with its current president and defense minister in the chain of command, Serbia treats Kosovo as a international legal problem, rather than a military problem.”

Moreover, the deputy defense minister called to mind once more the letter that Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac had sent to his EU colleagues at the end of last year, where he stressed that the army would not meddle in affairs in Kosovo, though he did ask for the safety of the province’s Serb population to be guaranteed.

The German and Serbian Defense Ministry delegations spoke also of continued cooperation.

This was deemed to be very good in the area of officer education and developing the ABH defense system, as well as in the field of medicine and cooperation between military-historical institutes.

Spasojević spoke in Berlin with officials from the Foreign Ministry and members of the Chancellor’s department responsible for foreign and defense policy, as well as policy towards the Balkans.

Source: B92