March 8 (UPI) -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discouraged Kosovo's president from moving forward with plans to create a full national army during a recent meeting.
According to Stoltenberg, the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force, or KSF, into a fully armed body may further alienate its neighbor Serbia. The top NATO official called the move "unhelpful," and urged Kosovo's president Hashim Thaci to maintain close contact with the Serbian government.
"NATO has supported the development of the KSF as a professional, increasingly multi-ethnic force," Stoltenberg said in a statement. "However, should the mandate of the KSF now evolve in the way proposed, NATO will have to review its level of commitment, particularly in terms of capacity-building."
The United States Embassy in Kosovo echoed the Secretary General's position, saying Thaci's government should take a more lawful approach in bolstering its defensive capabilities.