Tuesday, May 27, 2008


BRUSSELS, Belgium (May 27,2008) – European Union defense ministers agreed yesterday in Brussels to keep the bloc's 2,500 peacekeepers in Bosnia, citing concern that tensions in Kosovo could spill over into other parts of the southeastern Europe.

"The region is not yet fully stable,It is necessary to continue being present militarily." said Slovenia's Defense Minister Karl Erjavec, who chaired the meeting.

"Some EU nations had hoped that growing stability in Bosnia would allow them to pull the troops out, leaving just a police and civilian mission. However, the failure of Bosnia's ethnically based political parties to agree on a new constitution and the tensions over Kosovo mean thesoldiers needed to stay on," Minister Erjavec told reporters.

The EU ministers said in a statement the "EU-led military presence will remain in Bosnia for as long as necessary."

The EU took over the Bosnian mission in 2004 and cut troop levels from 6,000 last year as part of a gradual reduction from the 60,000 NATO soldiers that moved in after the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

No comments: