Europe

NATO commander assures of continuous presence in Kosovo

  • NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) U.S General Curtis Scaparrotti, speaks during a press conference at the KFOR military headquarters in Pristina in Kosovo capital Pristina on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 during his visit to Kosovo. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

    NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) U.S General Curtis Scaparrotti, speaks during a press conference at the KFOR military headquarters in Pristina in Kosovo capital Pristina on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 during his visit to Kosovo. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)  (The Associated Press)

  • NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) U.S General Curtis Scaparrotti, 2nd front left, visits NATO troops at the KFOR military headquarters in Kosovo capital Pristina on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

    NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) U.S General Curtis Scaparrotti, 2nd front left, visits NATO troops at the KFOR military headquarters in Kosovo capital Pristina on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)  (The Associated Press)

  • NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) U.S General Curtis Scaparrotti, speaks during a press conference at the KFOR military headquarters in Pristina in Kosovo capital Pristina on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 during his visit to Kosovo. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

    NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) U.S General Curtis Scaparrotti, speaks during a press conference at the KFOR military headquarters in Pristina in Kosovo capital Pristina on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 during his visit to Kosovo. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)  (The Associated Press)

A senior NATO commander has assured Kosovo that the military alliance will maintain troops there "for as long as it's necessary."

NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti, met with local senior officials and also western ambassadors during a visit to Kosovo on Tuesday

Some 4,500 troops from 31 countries have been deployed in Kosovo since June 1999, after NATO's 78-day air campaign to stop a bloody Serbian crackdown against ethnic Albanian separatists.

Tensions between Kosovo and Serbia have been building again in the last two months after a series of frictions and incidents.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has not recognized it as a country.