NATO session scheduled; Western Balkans on the agenda
The focus of the meeting will be the Russian war against Ukraine and the war between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said before the meeting that the heads of diplomacy of the member countries will discuss the possibility of a permanent increase in the number of members of the KFOR mission in Kosovo.
"We recently increased our presence in Kosovo by sending 1,000 additional soldiers. We are now assessing whether this should be a more permanent increase," Stoltenberg said at a press conference the day before the start of a two-day meeting of NATO diplomats in Brussels.
NATO increased its presence in Kosovo after the clash between an armed group of Serbs and Kosovo police on September 24 in the village of Banjska. NATO now has 4,500 troops deployed in Kosovo.
Stoltenberg said the meeting would also discuss "secessionist and divisive rhetoric" in Bosnia and Herzegovina and "malicious attempts to incite dissent, including those from Russia."
NATO member ministers will discuss ways to strengthen stability in the Western Balkans together with the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, Stoltenberg pointed out.
According to announcements from Brussels, during the two-day meeting, the ministers will reaffirm their support for the defense of Ukraine against the Russian invasion and discuss preparations for the summit in Washington in July 2024, which will mark the 75th anniversary of NATO, it was announced in Brussels.
Ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Council, a body formed at the last summit in order to improve cooperation and coordination, but also to help prepare Kyiv for membership, will also meet in Brussels for the first time.