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Kosovo PM Haradinaj cancelled a meeting after Spain’s Ambassador in NATO asked ‘status neutral’ representation

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has refused on Friday attending a meeting and a pre-arranged joint press conference with NATO senior officials, at the KFOR Headquarters in Pristina. Kosovo PM protested conditions set by the Spain’s Ambassador in NATO, who asked Haradinaj not to be presented as Chief of Kosovo Government. The Spanish diplomat also asked the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) officers not to be presented with the official uniforms in the meeting. Spain is one of the five EU member countries which has not recognised Kosovo’s independence.The NATO Deputy Secretary Gottemoeller during all her meetings in Pristina referred to Kosovo officials only on their names, avoiding mentioning their positions implying Kosovo’s statehood, in order not to prejudge Kosovo’s status. NATO has a status-neutral stance towards Kosovo after four out of 29 of its members have not recognised Kosovo’s statehood.

NATO “concerned” over Thaci’s rehashed “Kosovo army” plan

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

NATO is concerned about a proposal to turn Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into an armed force without constitutional changes, writes the daily Vecrnje Novosti. “The secretary general also conveyed this message directly to the Kosovo authorities. He also urged the Kosovo authorities to stay in close contact with Belgrade. NATO’s position on this issue has not changed,” reads the reply that the Belgrade newspaper received from NATO officials in Brussels. “We welcome the willingness to involve all communities in a debate about the future of the KSF. NATO has been supporting the development of the KFS as a professional and growing multiethnic force for years. The structure, mandate and mission of the KSF are issues for local Kosovo institutions in accordance with their constitutional law”, a NATO official told the daily. That the formation of an army is the primary goal of the newly formed government in Pristina is evidenced in Minister of Security Forces Rustem Berisha saying in Tirana on Wednesday – where he met with the Albanian defense minister – that “the strengthening of security institutions is a priority, which involves the transformation of the KSF into an armed force”.

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