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NATO to re-examine its level of engagement in Kosovo in 2019 - Stoltenberg

NATO to re-examine its level of engagement in Kosovo in 2019 - Stoltenberg NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg/All Rights Reserved

PRISTINA (Kosovo), December 20 (SeeNews) – The NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said it had a phone call with Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj informing him that the North Atlantic Council will re-examine its level of engagement with the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) in 2019.

“NATO will continue its KFOR mission to ensure a safe and secure environment in Kosovo,” Stoltenberg said in a press release on Wednesday.

He informed Haradinaj that the North Atlantic Council had an initial discussion on the recently adopted laws on the transition of the KSF.

“KFOR operates under a UN mandate and will not be affected by the laws on the transition of KSF,” Stoltenberg noted, adding that he will continue his engagement with all actors relevant for regional stability.

Last week, Kosovo's parliament adopted three laws for initiating the process of KSF transformation into a professional army, finalising the full internal consolidation of the Republic of Kosovo.

The decision of the parliament in Pristina was backed by the U.S., while NATO warned that it was ill-timed, as it risks heightening tensions with Serbia which does not recognise the independence of Kosovo. A spokesperson for the European Commission commented that "like NATO, the European Union continues to share the view that the mandate of the KSF should only be changed through an inclusive and gradual process in accordance with Kosovo constitution."

Kosovo, considered to be a potential candidate for EU membership by the European Commission, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has so far has been recognized by more than half of the 193 UN member states.

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