Sunday, 24 October 2021 | News today: 0

NATO expresses regret regarding Kosovo’s ill-timed move to form army

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed regret that Kosovo’s Parliament on Friday passed a bill to form a Kosovo army.

“I regret that this decision was made despite the concerns expressed by NATO,” Stoltenberg said in an official press release.

“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,” he said.

“NATO supports the development of the Kosovo Security Force under its current mandate,” the release reads. “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.”

NATO remains committed through KFOR to a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and stability in the wider Western Balkans, Stoltenberg noted.

“All sides must ensure that today’s decision will not further increase tensions in the region,” he said, calling on all responsible political actors in the region to focus on progress with reforms and dialogue

“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.