British to draw down in Kosovo

March 5, 2009 at 4:35 PM

PRISTINA, Kosovo, March 5 (UPI) -- The improved security situation in Kosovo has prompted a move by the United Kingdom to draw down its security forces in the country.

British Defense Secretary John Hutton announced that the current deployment of more than 160 British troops to Kosovo, stationed in the country to support security efforts, will begin drawing down at the end of March, the U.K. Ministry of Defense reported.

British troops deployed to Kosovo as part of a NATO mandate following the country's declaration of independence to ensure stability in the region and avoid widespread violence. Hutton said that over the last year, Kosovo has achieved some measure of stability.

"Our drawdown reflects the changed circumstances in Kosovo, in particular the improved security situation," Hutton said in a statement.

"The key milestones in Kosovo's independence have passed without major incident, and the security situation in Kosovo is generally calm."

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