Friday, August 18, 2006

Premier says Kosovo to have its own army

Text of report in English by Croatian news agency HINA

Pristina, 17 August: Kosovo will have its own army that will evolve from the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), Kosovo's Premier Agim Ceku, former commander of the KPC and of the now defunct Kosovo Liberation Army, said in Pristina on Thursday [17 August].

Ceku was speaking in response to the statement made on Wednesday by the head of the German office in Pristina, Eugen Wollfarth, that the forming of a Kosovo army would not be among the future priorities of the international community and that Berlin did not support its formation.

Ceku said that security structures for Kosovo would be the subject of talks and that at the request of the Kosovo negotiating team he would be personally involved, together with a group of experts, in preparing a proposal to form a Kosovo army.

The KPC commander, General Sulejman Selimi, said on Thursday that in defining the final status of Kosovo, a military component should also be defined and that Kosovo should be independent and have its own army.

The commander of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (Kfor), General Giuseppe Valotto of Italy, visited the Kosovo Protection Corps earlier on Thursday. He said that Kosovo should have trust in the KPC, which he described as a well-prepared and well-led organization ready to carry out any assignment.

Source: HINA news agency, Zagreb, in English 2105 gmt 17 Aug 06

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