NATO grants KFOR request for reinforcementsSource: Tanjug
PRIŠTINA -- A KFOR spokesperson says a request was submitted to NATO to send more troops to Kosovo to help ease possible tensions at the time of local elections.
At the same time, a report that "American special forces" would be sent to Albania and deployed close to the province - originally published by the Tirana-based Lajm newspaper, and then picked up by some Serbian media outlets - was described as "not true" by Nowitzki.
"All I can say is that this (Lajm) report does not correspond with the truth," said he, and added that German and Austrian reinforcements should arrive in Kosovo by the end of the week.
They will be stationed at points in Kosovska Mitrovica and ethnic Albanian villages in the municipalities of Zvečan and Zubin Potok, where Serbian local elections are slated to be held.
A total of 550 German and 150 Austrian soldiers will be deployed at the lines dividing the two ethnic communities in northern Kosovo.
The U.S. embassy in Priština has meanwhile announced that a U.S. assault ship would dock at Albania's Port of Durres on April 24-27.
This has nothing to do with the events in the region, as it is only part of regular efforts by the U.S. Sixth Fleet in promoting naval partnership with European countries and improving safety and security at sea, said the diplomatic mission.
Written statementIn a written statement sent to Tanjug later on Tuesday, Nowitzki "confirmed that the second battalion of the Operational Reserve Force (ORF) has been activated and will deploy to Kosovo shortly", the news agency reported.
"This is part of our prudent planning and positioning to make sure that we have the forces necessary to do our task," Nowitzki stated.
KFOR's mission, he noted, was to "preserve a safe and secure environment for all people of Kosovo in an impartial way".
"That is what we have done for over a decade, and that is what we will continue to do," said this spokesman.