NATO is concerned about a proposal to turn Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into an armed force without constitutional changes, writes the daily Vecrnje Novosti.
“The secretary general also conveyed this message directly to the Kosovo authorities. He also urged the Kosovo authorities to stay in close contact with Belgrade. NATO’s position on this issue has not changed,” reads the reply that the Belgrade newspaper received from NATO officials in Brussels.
It was announced earlier from the cabinet of Kosovo President Hashim Thaci that, unless they are able to secure the necessary Serb votes in favor of constitutional amendments, a draft law on the transformation of the KSF into an army would be sent to the Kosovo Assembly.
This draft was also sent to the Assembly in March, but was then withdrawn under pressure from Western countries and NATO.
“We welcome the willingness to involve all communities in a debate about the future of the KSF. NATO has been supporting the development of the KFS as a professional and growing multiethnic force for years. The structure, mandate and mission of the KSF are issues for local Kosovo institutions in accordance with their constitutional law,” a NATO official told the daily.
That the formation of an army is the primary goal of the newly formed government in Pristina is evidenced in Minister of Security Forces Rustem Berisha saying in Tirana on Wednesday – where he met with the Albanian defense minister – that “the strengthening of security institutions is a priority, which involves the transformation of the KSF into an armed force.”