US official to Pristina: Take law on army off the table

A US State Department official says that "coordination was missing between Pristina and international officials" when it comes to changing the law on the KSF.

Source: B92, Beta
(Getty Images, file)
(Getty Images, file)

The initiative to change the law and thus transform the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) into an army was launched earlier this month by Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, but has met with opposition from Belgrade, Moscow, and the West.

Speaking in Pristina this week, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee said: "We would like the (Kosovo) government to make a step back and take the law off the table."

Recalling that the United States and Kosovo are "strategic partners" and that Washington "from the beginning supported Kosovo as an independent and sovereign country," he told Kosovo's public broadcaster RTK that the question of establishing an army was "practical."

He mentioned "the number of troops, equipment, training" and "the support of allies and future allies - because we hope that Kosovo will one day be in NATO."

Another significant point is political, Yee added, "because there was an agreement between Kosovo and the United States and other partners that there would be consultations, coordination of all the elements."

So far, this coordination has not been sufficient, the US official remarked.

He also "urged Kosovo's political parties to approve the border demarcation agreement with neighboring Montenegro."

Yee spoke out against early parliamentary elections in Kosovo, stressing holding elections whenever difficulties arise in solving the problems was "not solution" - because this prevents progress.

During his two-day visit to Kosovo Yee met with President Hashim Thaci, Assembly President Kadri Veseli, Deputy Prime Minister Branimir Stojanovic, President of the Serb List Slavko Simic, Minister for Dialogue Edita Tahiri, Minister for the KSF Haki Demolli, KSF commander Rahman Rama and with the leader of the Self-Determination Movement Vsar Imeri.

Yee and the US embassy in Pristina did not make any statements or announcements after any of these meetings.


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