Monday, August 21, 2006

Prime Minister of Kosovo has institutional and party support when talking about army

Koha Ditore lead story reports that the institutional and main party leaders in Kosovo strongly back the stance of Prime Minister Agim Çeku when he says ‘Kosovo will have its army in the future’ following reactions by Serbian officials against it.

Koha Ditore reported on Sunday that the statement of Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku that Kosovo should have its own army has triggered lots of reactions among Serbs.

Kosovo’s army would jeopardize regional stability, said Serbian president Boris Tadic for the Serbian state TV, RTS.

Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic has said for B92 that it is an age-long wish of Kosovo Albanians to ensure a better negotiating position through an army which is a symbol of statehood. According to him, an army for Kosovo would create huge tensions in the region and would be a factor of destabilization.

Leon Kojen, coordinator of the Serbian Delegation has said that the ICG has also encouraged these statements. “The position of Belgrade is clear. We are for complete demilitarization of Kosovo,” he said adding that the international troops and also the police would meet the European standards.

These in turn led to backing statements in Kosovo by institutions and the parties.

“Of course that Kosovo should have a military force. Kosovo’s military force will have a stabilizing role in the region, of course not denying the presence of international military force, namely NATO,” the Assembly President Kolë Berisha is quoted as saying. Berisha clarified further that Kosovo military force should be in coordination with the international military force that will still be in Kosovo.

Kosovo army does not in any way pose a threat to peace and stability in the region…on the contrary it is a precondition for long term stability, said LDK spokesperson Lulzim Zeneli, according to the paper.

PDK spokeswoman Vlora Çitaku says that her party considers Kosovo should have its own army, and that this is not to be negotiated. “PDK is for a modern and integrated army that would first be part of partnership and later member of NATO,” she said.

ORA spokesperson Ylli Hoxha also emphasizes the need for Kosovo to have an army. “It is clear that Kosovo once it becomes a state will need its army and we as a political entity will work on it being efficient and also cooperative with Euro-Atlantic structures.” Hoxha further said that it will be an army of peace and not of war.

KPC spokesperson Enver Dugolli has said that the people of Kosovo will decide whether Kosovo needs an army or not.

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