President Thaçi: Reconciliation, a necessity due to the future

Prishtina, April 04 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi participated today in the debate with students and journalists, organized by the FOL Movement.

The President discussed with the students and journalists about various topics, starting from the amendment of the Criminal Code of Kosovo, the transformation of the KSF, about the completion of the electoral reform, the establishment of the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation and other topics of interest.

Speaking about the process of the transformation of the KSF, President Thaçi has emphasized that he has undertaken the legal initiative for the establishment of the Kosovo Army not only because it is a constitutional and legal obligation.

“It is essential our right to have our own army which guarantees the protection of our state sovereignty, but also because I have considered that Kosovo is unable to realize its goal for NATO membership without establishing its own army”, he added.

The President has appreciated the social debate which has been developed since the undertaking of the legal initiative until today.

By respecting all opinions and different approaches about the establishment of the Kosovo Army, according to him, the common denominator of all this debate is that the institutions, the parliamentary political parties, the civil society and the citizens of Kosovo are ready to make the natural, legal and constitutional step for the establishment of the Kosovo Army.

“We are fully aware of the importance of the preservation and strengthening of the strategic partnership with NATO and in the USA, just as we are responsible that the establishment of the Kosovo Army must be done without wasting time”, he said.

Asked about the stance of NATO and the USA regarding the transformation of the KSF, President Thaçi said that our international strategic partners, respectively the USA and NATO have confirmed their willingness to help our institutions in another comprehensive serious effort to ensure the support of all the communities in Kosovo, and in particular of the Serb community for the transformation of the KSF into KAF through constitutional changes.

“I extraordinarily appreciate this new development regarding this very important issue for the Republic of Kosovo. We should not forget the fact that the establishment of the Kosovo Army is one of the most important moments and developments for the state-building process since the declaration of the independence of Kosovo”, he stressed.

The President has said that our institutions still have at disposal the sufficient time to jointly make another final attempt to secure the support of all communities for the establishment of the KAF through constitutional changes.

According to him, in this effort all the institutions must be involved, in order that the establishment of the army to be a moment of unification of the citizens of Kosovo, the political parties and the civil society.

“I once again reiterate that I would like that such a vital goal to have the support of all communities of Kosovo and to happen through constitutional changes. In the opposite case, I made it clear that no one will be able to use the veto for the establishment of the Kosovo Army and this is already clear”, he said.

Speaking about the initiative for the amendment of the Criminal Code of Kosovo, President Thaçi said that employees of the justice sector, at their work, had identified several challenges in the implementation of the Criminal Code, even though it is the best in the region.

“Therefore I have undertaken the initiative to supplement the Criminal Code. It is a pleasure to say that for this I have received the support of all the relevant state institutions”, he said, adding that before the law we all are equal and no one is above it.

The President has also spoken about the sending of four letters addressed to the Office of the State Prosecutor, where he has addressed the need to work on the issues that mostly concern the citizens of Kosovo, war crimes, postwar crimes, the attacks against our cultural and historical heritage, and war victims, with special emphasis on the missing persons and victims of sexual violence.

“I am encouraged by the immediate reaction of the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor and all other relevant bodies to work on these points. Every step in resolving each case involved in these letters, is another stone in the foundation of our society as a society in which all are equal”, he said.

The President was asked by the students and journalists about the next initiative for the completion of the electoral reform, aiming to build an electoral system that guarantees the citizens of Kosovo an even fairer process.
 
“The recommendations have been finalized and will be handed over to the Assembly of Kosovo as an initiative to complete the electoral reform”, he added.

President Thaçi discussed with the students and columnist also about the initiative for the establishment of the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation.
 
According to him, almost two decades since the war has ended, we still have not closed the chapter of the war.
 
He said that we cannot build a better future by building walls, creating enemies and spreading hatred.
 
The better future, according to him, we will build by building good neighborly relations, good regional cooperation and by building friendships.
 
The President has announced that the Commission will be independent, will be transparent, all-inclusive, impartial. According to the President the civil society will have the essential role in the work of the Commission, but will enjoy the support of all the other institutions.

“I am encouraged by the support that this initiative has received from all the sectors of society. The most important support is the one I have received from the associations of the families of the missing persons. Their commitment for peace and reconciliation can not be disputed by anyone. This month we will formally establish the Commission for Truth and Reconciliatio”, warned the President, adding that this is becoming a necessity for the future.