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Kosovo: Thaci, regular army by the end of this year

'In favour of dialogue with Belgrade. Against attacks on Serbs'

16 September, 16:18
(ANSA) - PRISTINA - The transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into regular armed forces will take place by the end of this year, president Hashim Thaci said. ''It is expected that Army will be constituted by the end of this year'', Thaci said on Kosovo public TV broadcaster Rtk.

The whole process, he added, will come with constitutional amendments, in accordance with requirements set out by the international community, and in collaboration with the United States, NATO and the European Union. ''We will build a modern, multinational, professional and secure perspective in view of NATO membership'', he said.

The creation of a regular Kosovar Army is strongly opposed by Serbia, which does not recognize Pristina's independence.

President Thaci himself, in some statements reported today by the local press, condemned attacks on politicians belonging to Serbian ethnicity in Kosovo, calling them a manifestation of 'racism'.

The president said he was in favour of continuing the dialogue with Belgrade, underlining Pristina's will to comply with the commitments undertaken through the agreements reached so far with the Serb side, including the creation of a new community of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo. ''There is no alternative to dialogue'', he said. ''Kosovo can not build its Euro-Atlantic future based on hostility against the Serbs''.


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