"NATO does not decide on Kosovo army"
NATO "supports the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) in its present format, which does not envisage its use as a combat unit," Tanjug reported from Brussels.Source: Tanjug
"NATO does not make decisions regarding the structure, mandate and mission of the Kosovo Security Force," a NATO official who wished to remain anonymous told the news agency, adding that "this matter is up to the government in Priština."
"The Kosovo authorities decide on their own whether to transform the KSF into a conventional army," he said.
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has recently announced that the KSF "would be renamed next week as the Kosovo Armed Forces, with NATO's full support."
KSF is a security force comprising approximately 2,500 active duty and 800 reserve members, whose mission is currently limited to civil protection operations and assisting the civil authorities in responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.
According to the Ahtisaari plan, which Priština had accepted, members of this unit are only allowed to carry light firearms.
Thaci and Minister of Security Forces Agim Ceku plan to transform the KSF into "a conventional army with all the attributes that this entails," Tanjug said.