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Jul 8 2022

Admiral Munsch visits KFOR

Press Release

Hungarian Army Major General Ferenc Kajari, Kosovo Force (KFOR) commander, received United States Navy Admiral Stuart B. Munsch, Commander, Allied Joint Forces Command (JFC) Naples, during Munsch's first official visit to KFOR July 6, 2022.

Munsch was welcomed to KFOR HQ, Camp "Film City", by Kajari and after an update on the current state of security in Kosovo, Munsch met with the KFOR HQ Staff and explained his intent for the way forward as he commands JFC Naples.

"Stability and security of the Western Balkans is important for NATO and for peace and stability in Europe," said Munsch. "KFOR's presence reflects NATO's strong and continued commitment to this important mission."

"While the security environment has evolved since the end of the nineties, KFOR continues to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities living in Kosovo. After 23 years, the situation is very different thanks to the strong commitment of NATO Allies and Partners to a peaceful Kosovo," Munsch added.

Munsch also expressed to Kajari his appreciation for the role performed by KFOR in cooperating with Kosovar institutions and maintaining close relations with a wide range of interlocutors, including international security organizations.

In accordance with its UN mandate, KFOR is constantly ready to adopt the necessary measures to keep Kosovo safe, in close coordination with Kosovo Police and EULEX.

"We fully support the EU-facilitated dialogue aimed at the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina," said Munsch. "This is the only path towards achieving a lasting political agreement and it is a key to stability in the Balkans."

Munsch also asserted his and NATO's gratitude to KFOR for enabling local communities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and providing logistical support to facilitate assistance from NATO Allies and Partners during the last two years of the pandemic.

Kajari escorted Munsch on a reconnaissance flight by helicopter over the KFOR Area of Responsibility where Munch also received briefs from two Regional Commanders on the activities carried out by their units on the ground. The visit included going to the Monastery in Deçani/Dečani and the Patriarchate of Pejë/Peć where he met with Father Sava Janjić.

"As the new Joint Force Command Naples Commander, I came immediately here to reinforce this commitment and to continue to strengthen our partnership with all the institutions in Kosovo and in the entire Western Balkans," said Munsch. "Our daily joint efforts are something that improves all of us and shows that NATO members and their partners are all together, focused on today's increasingly complex security challenges."

JFC Naples oversees three missions across the Western Balkans: The Kosovo Force, NATO Headquarters Sarajevo and the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade. Kosovo Force counts around 3,700 troops contributed by 28 countries, including 20 NATO members and 8 partner countries.

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