U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Wess Mitchell, said in Belgrade that Kosovo has the right to form a professional force to deal with security, GazetaExpress reported.
During a joint press conference with Serbian president, Aleksandar Vucic, the U.S. diplomat said Kosovo army would not be a threat to Serbia and Serbs and the U.S. supported that right of Kosovo.
Mitchell urged Kosovo and Serbia to fulfil their obligations under the Brussels agreement, and said that his primary message was that the US was committed to partnership with Serbia. He said that the conversation with Serbian president Vucic was “open and very good” and that they discussed Kosovo, security of the region and economic cooperation, and that the United States was “committed to finding a solution in the dialogue and ready to listen and help.”
Mithcell said that Kosovo has the right to form a professional force to deal with security and that it would not be a threat to Serbia and Serbs – while the United States supported that right of Kosovo – but also stressed that a change of the constitution was needed for this to take place. Mitchell said this requires a lot of work, and that the United States was engaging “very closely with people in Pristina about that.”
Vucic, said that Serbia and the US do not agree on “the security forces in Kosovo” – but do about “peace and dialogue in Brussels under the auspices of the EU.”
During the press conference, Vucic repeatedly pointed out that he had an “open conversation with Mitchell” and stressed that he was very grateful to him. Asked if they had discussed the issue of the possible formation of an army in Kosovo , Vucic said: “I urge everyone to find one single paper, one single letter in some international act that says that is allowed. According to the military-technical agreement signed in Kumanovo, no Kosovo forces can exist – there may be KFOR and no one else. According to (UN Security Council) Resolution 1244, as a general legal act, Albanian forces are not envisaged, instead the return of Serbian forces to Kosovo is. A Kosovo army goes against all international acts.”
Mitchell is visiting Belgrade after his Monday’s visit to Kosovo when he said that no one has the right to veto Kosovo security force.