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Thaci promised NATO in 2013 Kosovo army would not go to north (Koha)

By   /  15/02/2019  /  Comments Off on Thaci promised NATO in 2013 Kosovo army would not go to north (Koha)

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As the meeting of NATO defence ministers got underway in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made reference to a Brussels agreement stipulating that Kosovo Security Force could not deploy to the north without the approval of KFOR commander. He repeated the statement at a press conference following the end of the meeting but did not comment whether this was based on a letter then Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci sent to former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen guaranteeing that Kosovo forces would not be deployed to the north, Koha reports. Koha notes that the 2013 Brussels Agreement which Stoltenberg made reference to makes no mention of KSF and only speaks about the integration of security forces in the north into the Kosovo system. Koha says that when the Brussels Agreement was reached, before being initialed, the Serbian side had sought out guarantees from NATO regarding KSF deployment. Since NATO was not part of the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue, then NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had received verbal assurances from Kosovo authorities that KSF units would not go to the north without the KFOR’s consent. Diplomatic sources told Koha however that the pledge not to go to the north was actually made in a letter Thaci sent to NATO. At the same time, Kosovo authorities never entirely clarified what agreement regulates possible engagement in the north. The issue over KSF’s deployment has resurfaced at a time when NATO is reassessing level of engagement with KSF following decision to transform it into an army. According to Koha however, the fact that some NATO members were irritated by the Kosovo army decision and others supported it shows there is no consensus in NATO over the issue.

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