photo - PAP/Jacek Turczyk
On Monday, Komorowski met with some of the 220 Polish soldiers and military personnel taking part in the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo and about 120 police officers and border guards involved in the EU-led EULEX programme.
“Poland is a free a country now, and I want that freedom and security for others and want their security,” Komorowski said yesterday.
He emphasized the special importance of the mission in Kosovo for stability in Europe.
“I think that this is the best place to make wishes to soldiers and officers, the guardians of our security, on the occasion of the upcoming Easter holidays,” he said.
President Komorowski led a high level delegation to Kosovo – which declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 – including Poland's defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak, Chief of General Staff Gen. Mieczyslaw Cieniuch, Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs Michal Deskur, Chief Police Commander Superintendent Marek Działoszyński and Land Forces Commander Gen. Zbigniew Głowienka.
Tension was still evident between Kosovars and the minority Serb population, but “the situation was under control,” said Polish spokesperson for the KFOR mission in Kosovo, Magdalena Koscinski.
“Local people accept the presence of Polish soldiers and policemen. They want us to be here as long as possible,” Kościńska claimed.
Belgrade does not recognise Kosovo secession and is planning to include the Serb minority in Serbian parliamentary and local elections on May 6.
As President Komorowski was touring the region, two police officers from Kosovo who were arrested by Serbs in the border region on Saturday were released.
The arrests were apparent retaliation for the arrest in Kosovo of five Serbs last week in possession of voting lists and material for the vote.
The officers were released in the southern Serbian town of Prokuplje to members of the European Union’s police and justice mission in Kosovo, a spokesman for the EULEX mission told the Rueters agency.
The EULEX programme aims to help Kosovo build legal institutions in the country, including the police force and judiciary. (pg)