The President: The Armed Forces will be formed with the political will of all communities

Prishtina, November 1, 2017 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, participated today in the open debate with civil society on the topic “The stance of the Serb community on the change of the mandate of the Kosovo Security Force”, organized by the Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS ) and the Security Policy Research Center (SPRC)

President Thaçi said that the transformation of the KSF, after a long period of its development, in an excellent partnership with the USA, KFOR and NATO, is in the interest of all the citizens of Kosovo, in the interest of all communities and in the interests of the security and peace in Kosovo and the region.

He said that the Kosovo Armed Forces do not pose any kind of threat to anyone, as there is no threat by the KSF.

“The only purpose of the KSF today and of the Armed Forces of Kosovo tomorrow, will remain the same. It is the empowerment of peace, stability in the region and the provision of security to all the citizens of our country”, he said, adding that this process started years ago is gradually going to the final stage.

The Head of State also talked about the public debate on the transformation of the KSF, which, in his opinion, has often been accompanied by reduced misunderstandings about whether this process should be concluded through constitutional changes or legal changes.

“No one can intentionally block this process. No one can veto this process. Regardless of how the process will be completed, this is a constitutional and legal process. I emphasize this fact to remove some misunderstandings that may exist in some NATO member states”, he said.

The constitutional changes, according to the Head of State, are necessary only in the symbolic sense, namely changing the name of the KSF into KAF, and through constitutional changes, Kosovo ensures a wider involvement of all communities, which would make the journey of Kosovo for membership into NATO easier.

“We want the Armed Forces to be formed with the change of the Constitution, by uniting in one place, in the Assembly of Kosovo, the political will of all communities in Kosovo. This is the best possible way to reach all together to another very important unifying value of Kosovo”, said President Thaçi.

He said that in these values all are united, the Kosovo Police, the Kosovo Customs, the democracy and voting for the local and central government of the country, the Government and Assembly of Kosovo, the courts, the law and order of Kosovo.

“Just a few years ago it was unimaginable that Albanians and Serbs will vote together, on all sides of this country, for their representatives in municipal and local governments, who will work together in the Assembly and in the Government , in the police, in customs, in the tax administration, and finally also in the Basic Court in Mitrovica”, he said

Just a few months ago, according to President Thaçi, few people could have imagined that together with him, in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Albanians and Serbs still suffering the consequences of war in Kosovo, in search of the most beloved ones who are still missing, will be seated.

“Even today, we are all proud that in the composition of the KSF there are also 103 representatives of the Serb community working side by side with the other members to empower it and make the transformation into the Kosovo Armed Forces ready. Albanian and Serbian officers are now in the world’s most prestigious military academies, from West Point onwards, in preparation for the new tasks they expect in the future”, he stressed.

Aware of the prevailing concerns of the Serbian politicians and citizens on the process of the establishment of the Kosovo Armed Forces, President Thaçi expressed his willingness to speak, if necessary every day, to Kosovo Serb politicians and citizens, to explain why we should form the Armed Forces of Kosovo.

“We know, all together, that KFOR can not stay forever in Kosovo. Moreover, it is the interest of KFOR and the NATO Pact that as soon as possible, Kosovo to stand on its own feet in this particular security segment as well. Ultimately, the Armed Forces will be formed in full cooperation with KFOR, the NATO Pact and the USA”, he said.

The President of the country has said that he has already undertaken several initiatives to establish a full consensus with all communities on the transformation of the KSF into the Kosovo army.