Thursday, March 20, 2008

Kosovo Welcomes US Military Aid

20 March 2008 Pristina _ Kosovo's leaders welcomed a decision by the United States' President to send military aid to the territory but refused to reveal what kind of weapons they will be supplied with.

Both President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci said the U.S. military assistance is an important milestone in the new history of Kosovo but refrained from explaining what weapons Kosovo will have.

“The cooperation between the U.S. and Kosovo has not ended with independence,” Sejdiu told media, adding “it will continue in the future”.

Thaci, also greeted the U.S. decision but did not specify from when the military aid will arrive in Kosovo.

Under the blueprint devised by Martti Ahtisaari, the former United Nations special envoy who drew up the plans for Kosovo's 'supervised independence,' the current Kosovo Protection Corp is to be transformed into a new army-like Security Force for Kosovo.

The Kosovo Protection Corp is a civilian defence organization that emerged from the now-defunct Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought against Serb forces in the 1998-1999 conflict. The Corps is now a multi-ethnic entity and only acts as a civil force in cases of natural disasters or similar.

The new security force will be regulated by Kosovo's new constitution which is expected to be passed by the beginning of April.

Late on Wednesday, U.S. President George Bush authorised military assistance to the government in Pristina in a move that cemented the determination of the United States to back newly-independent Kosovo.

In a presidential statement posted on the White House’s official Web site, Bush said Kosovo was eligible “to receive defence articles and defence services under the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act.”

In his decree, Bush said military assistance to Kosovo "will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace."

The United States was among the first countries to recognise Kosovo after its February 17 declaration of independence. A total of 33 countries worldwide, including top Western powers and Serbia’s neighbours, Hungary and Croatia have also recognised the government in Pristina.

The U.S. currently maintains a 1456-strong military presence in Kosovo and the Bondsteel military base, as part of NATO’s KFOR peacekeeping contingent.

1 comment:

Resolution1244 said...

Now what do you say--all of you Serbs who put "W" in office? I didn't vote for him; nor did I vote for Kerry who probably would have done the same.