franz josef jung 248.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Germany's defense minister says NATO's peacekeeping force in Kosovo will be reduced by a third because of the improving security situation in that newly independent nation.
Franz Josef Jung says the deployment of a 2,500-strong EU police and law mission and the expansion of Kosovo's own security force will allow NATO to draw down its 15,000-member force to about 10,000 by year's end.
He said any further reductions would depend on the security situation in the nation, which declared its independence from Serbia last year.
Jung spoke before the annual meeting of defense ministers from NATO's 28 member nations in Brussels.
Some have suggested that part of the Kosovo forces could be relocated to Afghanistan to strengthen the European presence there. But Jung did not mention that.