President Thaçi: The Army will be formed, let’s find the consensus

Prishtina, April 7, 2017 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, participated today at the conference “The Kosovo Security Force – the Perspectives of the Future”, which has been organized by the Research Institute of Development and European Affairs.

At this conference, President Thaçi stressed that the initiative for the transformation of the KSF is a well thought action, whereas the sending of the draft law to the Assembly is result of the inability of the institutions and the international partners, that during the past three years to establish the Kosovo Armed Forces.

The President said that representatives of the Serb List for six months in a row boycotted the Assembly and the Government of Kosovo, making it impossible for the institutions to ensure their support and involvement in this vital process.

Since the the undertaking of the legal initiative until today, President Thaçi stressed that there have been two important developments, which offer a positive perspective for the successful conclusion of the establishment of the Kosovo Armed Forces.

“The first positive development is the end of the boycott and the return of the Serb List in the state institutions, whereas the second development is the willingness of our international strategic partners to get involved actively on the establishment of the Kosovo Armed Forces through a transparent and inclusive process”, said President Thaçi.

Speaking on a panel with the American Ambassador, Greg Delawie, the French Ambassador, Didier Chabert, the Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Branimir Stojanovic and the American professor, Daniel Serwer, President Thaçi said that despite of the different approaches there is a consensus for the transformation of the KSF through constitutional changes.

“I, as President and Commander in Chief of the KSF am obliged that together with all the other institutions of Kosovo, to establish the Army of Kosovo, but also to further preserve and strengthen the cooperation with our strategic partners”, said Thaçi, adding that this goal is completely achievable, since all strategic partners agree that Kosovo must establish the Army.

The only difference to date, according to President Thaçi, has been in the approach to be followed to achieve this common goal.

The President said that considering the two important recent developments, the institutions of Kosovo are completely ready that together with the strategic partners to restart another last serious attempt for the transformation of the KSF into the Kosovo Armed Forces through constitutional changes.

“In service of achieving this common goal and taking into consideration the recent developments in the country, today I have sent an official letter to the President and members of the Presidency of the Assembly of Kosovo, through which I have requested that my legislative initiative for the amendment of the mandate and role of the KSF not to be put on the agenda for discussion, until our institutions and our strategic partners conclude this last effort, to ensure the support of all the communities in order that the transformation of the KSF into the Kosovo Armed Forces is made through constitutional changes”, emphasized Thaçi.

President Thaçi said that he would like that the establishment of the Army to be a moment of unification of the citizens of Kosovo, the political parties and the civil society.

“We want that the Serb community living in Kosovo to be part of this process and to give its support through their political representatives, just like all the other communities”, added Thaçi.

President Thaçi appealed for this process not to be misused and misinterpreted by anyone, because everything is in function of achieving our common goal.

“I again reiterate that I want and am working intensively for such a vital goal to be successfully concluded with the support of all the communities of Kosovo and that it should occur through constitutional changes. In the opposite case, I made it clear that no one will be able to use the veto or hinder in any way the establishment of the Army of Kosovo army and this is already clear”, added President Thaçi.

At the end, the President pointed out that it is essential that the political representatives of the Serb community should not think, even for a single moment, that the Kosovo institutions are giving up on the establishment of the Armed Forces, because this would be a great error from their part.