Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni is in Kosovo today, 23 December 2015, to meet the Italian contingent of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) NATO mission and the Multinational Specialized Unit. Minister Gentiloni will also be visiting the KFOR mission in Pristina.
During his visit, the Minister will meet the President of the Republic, Jahjaga, and the Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, Thaci, to discuss key bilateral dossiers. He will also reiterate Italy’s support for Kosovo’s closer European integration.
Italy has a central role in the stabilisation of Kosovo and was one for the first countries (in February 2008) to recognise the country. There have been numerous visits in the intervening years, the most recent of which were President Jahjaga’s visit to Rome on 21 January 2015 and Minister Thaci’s visit, again to Rome, on 7 July.
Italy’s engagement in KFOR
Italy currently leads the NATO KFOR mission, with Major General Miglietta, and the EULEX mission (EU mission in the judicial and policing sector), with Ambassador Meucci.
The KFOR mission has been active in Kosovo since June 1999. It works, with due respect for the mandate conferred through UN Security Council Resolution 1244, to provide a stable and secure environment for the entire population of Kosovo, irrespective of ethnic and religious differences. In this way, it contributes to the consolidation of peace and stability in the region, to the civil growth process, and the development of local institutions. KFOR consists of about 5000 military personnel from 31 countries. Italy has provided the Commander of the mission since September 2013 and its military personnel have been taking part since 1999. The Italian contingent, the third largest after the United States and Germany’s, currently consists of about 560.