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Alfano meets Italian troops in Kosovo during his first mission abroad

Pristina, 22 December 2016. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, visited the Italian contingent deployed in the NATO Multinational Force in Kosovo to bring his and the Italian institutions’ wishes for the upcoming end-of-year festivities.  

At his arrival at the NATO Headquarters in Pristina, the Minister was greeted by the KFOR Commander, Army Major General Giovanni Fungo, who briefed him on current operations, on the security conditions in Kosovo and on the role played by Italian troops within the KFOR in stabilising the Balkans.

Major General Fungo highlighted the important and fruitful cooperation between NATO, International Organisations, and the Institutions of Kosovo in keeping the region safe and peaceful.

The visit continued at the base of the Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU), where Minister Alfano met with representatives of the women and men serving in the Italian Army, to whom Mr Alfano expressed his appreciation for their high professionalism and for their unrelenting engagement in this complex theatre of operations.

“I am here to express my own closeness, also on behalf of the Government, the Parliament and of the whole Country. During this visit, I personally verified and appreciated the usefulness of the work you perform in this sensitive part of Europe,” said Minister Alfano, highlighting the important contribution to NATO by the Italian Armed Forces, present in Kosovo since 1999, in stabilising the Western Balkans.

The Italian contingent, which forms part to the NATO-led operations in Kosovo called “Joint Enterprise”, is engaged in assuring the freedom of movement and security of the inhabitants of Kosovo.

The “Joint Enterprise” operation currently counts on the participation of 30 Countries, with more than 4,000 troops, 550 of which are Italian, and is endowed with a Multinational Battle Group, a Multinational Specialized Unit (exclusively comprising members of the Carabinieri) and a JRD (Joint Regional Detachment), all of which are under Italian command.

Major General Fungo thanked Minister Alfano who, “with his visit, has confirmed the Country’s and its Institutions’ closeness to all the servicemen and women on mission to stabilise Kosovo.”