The United Arab Emirates is to withdraw its troops from the international peace-keeping mission in Kosovo (KFOR) because its mission is over, a senior UAE officer said.

"The force is packing up in preparations to leave for homeland after it has successfully carried out its duty, said Brigadier Shahwan Surour Al Dhahir, Deputy Commander of the Northern Multi-national Brigade and Liaison Officer of UAE Force.

He said that the force had alleviated the suffering of Kosovars by offering relief assistance and contributing to efforts aimed at maintaining peace and security in the region.

"The force's military mission was tinged with a humanitarian touch," he said, adding that the trip to home and transportation of equipment could take a month.

"Coordination in regards to necessary arrangement for the handover to the replacing force was underway," he said.

He also thanked the UAE Armed Forces command for its unstinted support.

Meanwhile, France yesterday hailed the UAE for its contribution to peace-keeping operations in Kosovo.

"While the UAE force is preparing to leave for home, it is suitable to praise its contribution to KFOR and for the exemplary military cooperation between the UAE and France," French foreign ministry spokesman Francois Revasou said.

"The critical mission of the peacekeeping force has been carried out perfectly despite the rough terrain of the region," the spokesman said.

The spokesman added: "Of course, we are sorry for the departure of the UAE force, although we want them to stay for longer time."