01:03 GMT +322 January 2019
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    Members of the Kosovo Security Force, (KSF) (File)

    Kosovo’s Future Army to Be NATO Ally - Leader Thaci

    © AFP 2018 / ARMEND NIMANI
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    BELGRADE (Sputnik) – The leader of the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, said that the national army of Kosovo, planned to be created, will become an active partner and a committed ally of NATO.

    "The army of Kosovo will become a multinational, professional force that will serve everyone. We will continue to work with our partners. Kosovo will maintain its strong alliance with NATO… We will work with all our allies. The relationship that Kosovo has and will always have with NATO is of great importance," Thaci told reporters.

    The statement comes after the parliament of Kosovo passed a set of bills providing for the change of mandate of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) and its transformation into the republic's national army.

    READ MORE: Serbian Envoy Slams Kosovo's Army Creation: Blow to Stability of Entire Balkans

    Earlier the same day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that he regretted Kosovo's decision to create a national army, adding that NATO would be forced to review its level of engagement with the KSF. Maja Kocijancic, the EU spokeswoman for foreign affairs and security policy, said that the European Union expects that Kosovo would continue complying with its previously undertaken security obligations despite its move to create a national army.

    The Kosovar army will reportedly consist of 5,000 active soldiers and 3,000 reservists and will receive 300 million euros ($340 million) in funding over three years to equip and train its forces.

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    Tags:
    army, security, Kosovo Security Force (KSF), NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, Kosovo
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