Prime Minister Iveta Radičová has a one-day working visit to Kosovo to meet the Slovak KFOR-SLOVCON contingent and its commander Major General Erhard Buhler, the Government Office informed the TASR newswire on September 27.
At the military base, Radičová will lay a wreath at the monument for the 42 victims of the January 19, 2006 aircraft disaster that occurred in northern Hungary. The plane was carrying Slovak Armed Forces' peacekeepers from this mission back to Slovakia. The Slovak prime minister will also pay homage to those who died in the line of duty and present medals to Slovak soldiers serving in the KFOR mission for securing peace in the area.
The prime minister and Defense Minister Ľubomír Galko who is accompanying her on the trip will also meet with Czech Defence Minister Alexander Vondra.
Slovak troops in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) have been strengthening security along the borders of Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania and monitoring compliance with a ban on the use of Kosovo roads by Albanian ethnic gangs as well as providing monitoring support against terrorist activities.
Slovakia will gradually withdraw its soldiers from the KFOR mission, Radičová confirmed. “The original contract signed by Slovakia is valid until the autumn of this year. Hence, we've met our obligations,” said Radičová, adding that the drawdown will be taking place until November 2010.
“There's an exact schedule for the withdrawal of the Slovak unit,” she said. The Prime Minister rejected the notion that the Slovak unit is to be withdrawn because Slovakia refused to recognise the independence of Kosovo. The Chief of the General Staff, Ľubomír Bulík, said Slovakia will not have a single soldier in the area by November 30.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
28. Sep 2010 at 10:00