President Thaçi: Transformation of the KSF will be carried out in accordance with the Constitution and laws of KosovoPrishtina, March 8, 2017 - President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi had a telephone conversation with the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.
Mr. Thaçi informed the NATO Secretary General that the transformation of the KSF will be done step by step, in a coordinated manner and in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Kosovo.
President Thaçi’s statement following the telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General:
Today I received a phone call from the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, whom I thanked for the visit he had to Kosovo in the beginning of the month and for the constructive discussion we had, but we also discussed the legal changes for the Kosovo Security Force to obtain additional competencies in the security sector in Kosovo.
In conversation with the Secretary Stoltenberg I stressed once again that the efforts and aspirations of Kosovo for KSF to be transformed into the Army of Kosovo are well known to our international partners.
I also added that for three years now we are trying to persuade Serbs to be part of the process and support the establishment of the Army of Kosovo. However, they have stated that they will never vote, and they are directly orchestrated by Serbia- Belgrade.
I told Secretary Stoltenberg that we would like the transformation of KSF be done through constitutional amendments, but this however proves to be impossible due to Serbs being directly orchestrated by Serbia and if the international community would provide guarantees that the Serbs will vote for constitutional amendments, then we would be willing to wait for them.
However, we will not remain hostage to Serbia’s political will.
I also told the NATO Secretary General that the KSF will continue to remain the same, but will have new powers and new mission and asked that NATO continue cooperation with the KSF.
In the telephone conversation with Secretary Stoltenberg I expressed my understanding for the concerns of some NATO members and the positions of the member states that have not yet recognized Kosovo, to which however we are grateful for the wonderful work they have done in Kosovo and their constant constructive stance towards Kosovo.
I informed the NATO Secretary General that the KSF transformation will be done on a step by step basis, as planned in the Security Sector Review drafted in cooperation with the international community.
Everything will be in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Kosovo, which were drafted in cooperation with the international community and the Kosovo Security Force will remain a multi-ethnic force and will promote multi-ethnicity as a value. Therefore, the changing of the KSF mission will not affect interethnic relations in Kosovo.
I assured Secretary Stoltenberg that we will respect any agreement we have reached so far with NATO and that the changing of the mission of the KSF will not have any impact on the role and mission of NATO and KFOR in Kosovo.
Kosovo's commitment to continuing the dialogue with Serbia will also remain unwavering.
Expressing my conviction that the issue of transformation of the KSF has been needlessly exaggerated, I reaffirmed to Secretary Stoltenberg that the entire process will be transparent, coordinated and not unilateral.