The Parliament of Kosovo passed on Friday a package of laws initiating the process of transition of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into an army. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement saying that he regrets the decision was made despite the concerns expressed by NATO.
According to Stoltenberg while the transition of the Kosovo Security Force is in principle a matter for Kosovo to decide, we have made clear that this move is ill-timed. “NATO supports the development of the Kosovo Security Force under its current mandate. With the change of mandate, the North Atlantic Council will now have to re-examine the level of NATO’s engagement with the Kosovo Security Force,” he said. NATO remains committed through KFOR to a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and to stability in the wider Western Balkans. Stoltenberg said that all sides must ensure that today’s decision will not further increase tensions in the region. “I reiterate my call on both Pristina and Belgrade to remain calm and refrain from any statements or actions which may lead to escalation. NATO continues to support the EU-sponsored dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina as the only lasting political solution for the region,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.