President Thaçi: The army will be formed, there is no turning back

Prishtina, March 17, 2017 - The President of the country, Hashim Thaçi, held a lecture today in front of the students of the UBT College and has conversed with them about many important processes through which our country is passing.

In his lecture at UBT, President Thaçi has said that as a country we are passing nine years of establishment and gradually we have managed to be consolidated and strengthened.

“We succeeded to have 114 international recognitions. We expect new recognitions in the coming days. We have managed to become a member of many international organizations. In particular, the past year has been an extraordinary year regarding Kosovo’s membership in international sports organizations like UEFA, FIFA”, said President Thaçi.

The President has said that our aim and objective, but also our vision, is to be, as soon as possible, part of the European family and part of NATO.

He stopped with particular emphasis on the establishment of the Kosovo Army, and at the Commission for Truth and interethnic Reconciliation in Kosovo.

“While respecting the Constitution of Kosovo, the laws in force, the right of an independent and sovereign state, I have initiated these days the draft law in full accordance with the procedures, the rules of procedure of the Assembly, namely the draft law on the establishment of the Kosovo Army or the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force from a civil mission into a military mission”, said President Thaçi.

This proposal has also its prehistory, according to President Thaçi, because the KSF is a force which we have created from zero, in the framework of the transformations or dissolution of the KPC and then the commencement of the construction of the KSF, in the second half of 2008 and the beginning of 2009.

“It has been completely a supervised process, trained by the international community, NATO and the United States of America. Therefore, with full right in 2014 we have taken the decision and we have had the full support of the international community, the USA and NATO, for the establishment of the Kosovo Armed Forces. There is no turning back, the army will be formed”, he said.

Because of the internal political developments, President Thaçi has said that, at that time, the political spectrum has hesitated to vote in the Assembly of Kosovo for the establishment of the Armed Forces.

“At that time we have lost an opportunity, which we have tried to improve throughout these three years, but after the elections in 2014, the political stalemate which has occurred and the arrival of the Serbian List in the Kosovo Assembly a reality very different has been created”, said President Thaçi.

He said that the Serbian List has given its response for the creation of the Army of Kosovo and the Kosovo Serbs are used only as cards for the nationalization of the authorities in Belgrade.

“After this very clear response, unfortunately such a reality was created  that instead of moving forward with constitutional changes, we must move with the law, which is allowed by the Constitution and our legal right as a sovereign state”, said President Thaçi.

The President said that we cannot become members of NATO nor any other mechanism, not even start the process of partnership for peace, without establishing the Army.

“We will continue to work with the entire relevant political factor. We will continue to work with civil society. We will continue to work with the media, with all communities in Kosovo, for this process to be fully successful”, said President Thaçi.

“We have had 109 signatures on the Declaration of Independence of Kosovo. I believe that we will have 110 MPs of Assembly of Kosova who will fully support the establishment of the Army of Kosovo”, he added.

Whereas, on the initiative for the establishment of the Commission for Truth and interethnic Reconciliation in Kosovo, President Thaçi has said that this Commission will be independent, impartial and will be headed by representatives of the two communities, Albanian and Serbian.

“I am very conscious that these projects do not earn any applause or do not pose any enthusiasm in populist terms, but I am also strongly convinced that they are the right projects and attitudes for our country and the Euro-Atlantic future”, said President Thaçi.

Speaking about the relations between Kosovo and Serbia, and the Resolution of the Assembly of Republic of Kosovo on the dialogue, the President has confirmed that this resolution will be fully respected.

In a joint discussion with the students of the UBT College, President Thaçi has spoken about the process of the visa liberalization for the citizens of Kosovo, but also about the Association of Serb-majority municipalities and the Demarcation agreement with Montenegro.