Swisscoy could stay in Kosovo

The House of Representatives has come out in favour of extending the mandate of the Swisscoy soldiers serving in Kosovo until 2011.

This content was published on March 5, 2008 - 18:44

Questions have been raised over whether the peacekeeping unit should continue its work there, especially after Kosovo declared its independence – which Switzerland recognises - last month.

The around 220-member Swisscoy, part of the multinational Kosovo force (Kfor), has been present in the region since 1999.

The government decided to extend its mandate last year and this now needs approval by parliament. The Senate has yet to give its opinion.

An unusual alliance of the Green party and the rightwing Swiss People's Party in the House of Representatives had called for the Swisscoy decision to be delayed or limited to 2009, given the new situation in Kosovo.

But parliamentarians rejected both proposals, with Swisscoy supporters arguing that a secure Kosovo was in the interests of Switzerland and its sizeable expat Kosovar community.

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