Stoltenberg: KFOR won’t be affected by laws on transition of Kosovo Security Force

Photo: Tanjug / Dragan Kujundžić

BELGRADE – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has informed Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj that KFOR mission will continue its engagement in order to ensure a safe and secure environment in Kosovo.

NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu has stated Stoltenberg has underlined during his phone call Haradinaj that KFOR operates under a UN mandate and that it will not be affected by the laws on the transition of Kosovo Security Force (KSF).

He has also said that North Atlantic Council had an initial discussion on the recently adopted laws on the transition of the KSF and has reiterrated that, as the mandate of the KSF is evolving, the North Atlantic Council will need to re-examine NATO’s level of engagement with the KSF in the new year.

“The Secretary General will continue his engagement with all actors relevant for regional stability”, short statement concluded.

Last week, Stoltenberg has stated that the decision to adopt three laws initiating the transition of the KSF to Kosovo Armed Forces were made despite concerns expressed by the Alliance and that he “regrets that decision”.

Kosovo Prime Minister Haradinaj has said after the telephone conversation that he had assured Stoltenberg that the transformation of the KSF into Kosovo Armed Forces would be a transparent process, conducted in close cooperation with NATO and the KFOR mission.

“I gave the guarantees to Secretary Stoltenberg for the transparency of the process of transition of the KSF, highlighting my vision and the vision of the Kosovo Government for the deepening of the partnership with NATO and the KFOR and the readiness of KSF units to contribute to regional and global security”, Haradinaj wrote on his Facebook profile.

He has also underlined that Kosovo will closely cooperate with the Alliance in order for KSF to fulfill operational capacities in its security mandate.

Continued KFOR engagement is also announced in 2019, since the recommended budget for NATO’s missions and operations, including the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, the KFOR peace support operation and NATO’s new training mission in Iraq has reached 273.2 million Euros.

At the meeting of North Atlantic Council held on Tuesday, December 18, Allies have agreed on a civil budget of 250.5 million Euros and a military budget of 1.395 billion Euros for 2019.