Johnson: The path that I say leads Kosovo to NATO

Prishtina, May 2004 – Admiral Gregory Johnson, NATO Commander for Southeastern Europe, declared upon meeting with Kosovo Premier Bajram Rexhepi in Pristina on Saturday that “we can see Kosovo as member of the North Atlantic Alliance in a not so far future, but only through the respect of law and guarantees of normal functioning of institutions and inter-ethnic tolerance.” He added that NATO “guarantees peace and safety in Kosovo that will not be built through arms, but through respect and implementation of law,” media reportet.

‘In the near future, Kosovo can become a member of Euro-Atlantic structures, but the only path that leads there is the full respect of law, functioning local institutions and interethnic tolerance,’ Johnson was quoted as saying in a press briefing after meeting with Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi.

Johnson said that the aim of his visit to Kosovo was to get the latest information on how the process is going and to see whether there is progress after the March events. ‘I can say that I am satisfied with the willingness voiced by the Prime Minister to rebuild the sites that were damaged during the March riots,’ added Johnson.