KPS and EULEX could guard the Serbian churches and monasteries

NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples Mark Fitzgerald was in Kosovo on Thursday and told reporters in Pristina that Kosovo police, KPS, and EULEX could in the future guard the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) churches and monasteries.

(KosovoCompromise Staff) Friday, February 19, 2010

Currently, the structures, which were targets of Kosovo Albanian violence in 1999 and 2004, are guarded by KFOR.

KFOR commander, German General Markus Bentler said that this concerns nine of the most important religious and cultural buildings of the SPC heritage in Kosovo.

Fitzgerald was also asked to comment on the so-called integration strategy for the northern, Serb areas of the province, aimed at bringing them under the rule of the Kosovo Albanian government in Pristina.

"Any parallel structure poses a threat to security and peaceful surroundings," he said, and warned that KFOR would react if "parallel" structures "resorted to violence".

Asked whether NATO would support the strategy, he said that NATO was interested in anything that "contributes to democracy and unification".

Fitzgerald also stated that he could not confirm that KFOR would take part in implementing the strategy - which has been rejected by the local Serbs, official Belgrade, and also Moscow - and added that the NATO-led force in Kosovo would monitor the situation and be ready to react.