The Italian Defence Minister, Antonio Martino, stated that Italy was asked to take over Germany’s command of the international peace-keeping force in Macedonia. EU Foreign Ministers decided at their meeting in Cáceres, Spain, on 9 February, that the Union should take over the responsibility for the Macedonian peace force from NATO.
Mr Martino said that Italy was ready to send 350-400 soldiers
to Macedonia. The NATO-led troops protect international observers
monitoring the peace process in the Balkan country. The
peace-keeping force will also be responsible for supervising the
return of refugees.