Wednesday, 19 December 2018 | News today: 16

Haradinaj: Kosovo remains committed to establishing regular army, despite warnings from NATO

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj told the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, on Thursday by telephone that Kosovo was committed to transforming the Kosovo Security Force, KSF into an army, one day after NATO urged it not to.

“This sovereign decision of Kosovo, which will be voted on December 14, contains in itself the vision and will of the citizens of Kosovo to preserve and defend Western values,” Haradinaj wrote on Facebook after talking to Stoltenberg.

“Expressing understanding for his position … I also informed … Stoltenberg that Kosovo is committed to a KSF transition process that will provide a professional, multiethnic and credible army serving all citizens of Kosovo,” he wrote.

The parliament of Kosovo has scheduled December 14 for a vote on the second read of draft laws expanding the KSF’s competences.

“Such a move is ill-timed. It goes against the advice of many NATO Allies. And may have serious repercussions for Kosovo’s future Euro-Atlantic integration,” Stoltenberg stated on Wednesday.

Before Kosovo MPs voted the first draft laws in October, NATO called for “full consultations” with “all communities” in the country, meaning mainly the Serbs.

NATO told BIRN in October that it supported the “development” of the KSF, but that major changes should only follow consultation with all communities affected, and with NATO itself.

It highlighted that the alliance remains committed to guarding the security and stability of Kosovo through its running operation, KFOR.

Kosovo’s parliament approved the first read of the draft laws on October.

Kosovo’s Serbian minority remains bitterly opposed to the creation of a Kosovo army, a position shared by Belgrade, which denies Kosovo’s existence as a state.

Source: Balkan Insight