Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Qehaja: Why should there be a National Security Council

Zëri carries an opinion piece by Ramadan Qehaja, a renowned expert on security issues, who comments on the idea of creating the National Security Council in Kosovo.

Qehaja says that the general impression in Kosovo is that despite some progress the security situation is still considered fragile. ‘And this is not in our interest, because in case the situation escalates it would have eventual implications on the implementation of standards and talks on Kosovo’s final status,’ he adds.

He notes that despite promises made by the UNMIK chief for the transfer of competencies in the area of security in April, this as not yet happened. ‘It is difficult to determine the reasons for this delay. But one can suppose that political reasons, namely pressure from diplomatic circles and aggravating relations between Albanians could be a serious obstacle to keeping this promise. ‘

Qehaja welcomes the effort for the creation of a National Security Council and adds that UNMIK’s reserved competencies in the area of security should not be an obstacle to this, ‘because things should be allowed to move forward and not maintain the current status quo.’

‘Even if the creation of the National Security Council is allowed, UNMIK would still play a dominating role, but the local factor would at least think, analyze and participate in the management of national security and not remain, as it has done so far, only a passive observer of events and developments,’ writes Qehaja.

Qehaja also suggests that the Council should be comprised of the most senior figures in Kosovo, including UNMIK and KFOR and teams of security experts.

‘The members of the Council would analyze the security situation at least once a month, and if the need arises they would meet more often and have decision-making powers. In my opinion, the eventual creation of the Kosovo Forum shouldn’t be an obstacle for the creation of the National Security Council as the two would have different scopes of activity,’ Qehaja concluded.

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