Albin Kurti declares ‘War’ to NATO presence in Kosovo, although the Constitution clearly recognizes its superior authority
In an attempt to invent diverse media topics in order to avoid the tariff drop, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, has surprised today the public opinion by the ignorance expressed by him and his legal team.
While referring to a 2013 letter from the former Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, addressed for the former KFOR commander in Kosovo and the former Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, which Kurti interprets as a “secret deal” in to the detriment of Kosovo, the correspondence is in fact nothing more than a Thaci’s pledge – at the time as Kosovo Prime Minister – that the KSF can be sent it the North just in full coordination with NATO.
It is worth mentioning that back in 2013 the Kosovo institutions, led by the Thaçi Government, were conducting a strategic review of the security sector, with the main focus being the 10-year transformation of the KSF into the Kosovo Armed Forces, but through constitutional changes. NATO had agreed then to this constitutional amendment, although it demanded guaranties from Kosovo institutions that they will not deploy the Kosovo Army to the North of the country during this transition period without an agreement with NATO.
If Kurti and his legal advisers, who hereby allege that Thaci has violated the Constitution, would have read the Constitution of Kosovo first, in Article 153 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo [International Military Presence], the Head of Presence of the International Military, namely the KFOR Commander, who reports directly to the NATO Secretary General, is recognized as the final authority in the operational area, in terms of interpreting NATO duties, according to the Ahtisaari package.
“Notwithstanding any provision of this Constitution, the International Military Presence has the mandate and powers set forth under the relevant international instruments including United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement dated 26 March 2007. The Head of the International Military Presence shall, in accordance with the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement dated 26 March 2007, be the final authority in theatre regarding interpretation of those aspects of the said Settlement that refer to the International Military Presence. No Republic of Kosovo authority shall have jurisdiction to review, diminish or otherwise restrict the mandate, powers and obligations referred to in this Article,” the Article 153 of the Constitution of Kosovo states.
Likewise, the Kosovo Declaration of Independence itself in its point 5 clearly states that, we invite and welcome an international civilian presence to oversee the implementation of the Ahtisaari Plan and a European Union-led rule of law mission.
“We also invite and welcome the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to retain the leadership role of the international military presence in Kosovo and to implement responsibilities assigned to it under UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and the Ahtisaari Plan, until such time as Kosovo institutions are capable of assuming these responsibilities. We shall cooperate fully with these presences to ensure Kosovo’s future peace, prosperity and stability,” says, among others, the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Kosovo.
Moreover, the document which also proclaimed Kosovo’s Independence clearly defines the role of the international military presence in Kosovo.
Article 13 of the Ahtisaari Plan foresees the role and mandate that NATO has in Kosovo, and the superiority that this international force has over domestic security institutions, which does not exclude KFOR military intervention for eliminating any obstacles they may have while fulfilling its mandate in Kosovo. In Annex XI of this plan are described in detail all duties and responsibilities that KFOR has in Kosovo.
Despite the ignorance that new Prime Minister of Kosovo have for the constitutional obligation he has, within short period Kurti himself will as well be obliged to make the same commitment as his predecessor Thaçi towards NATO. Otherwise NATO will need to consider other alternatives for accomplishing its mission in Kosovo, as provided by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.