Europe

Kosovo's president asks for creation of a regular army

  • Members of Kosovo Security Force (KSF) attend a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Commander Adem Jashari death, in capital Pristina, Kosovo in this photo taken on Sunday, March 5, 2017.  Kosovo's president asked parliament on Tuesday March 7, 2017, to transform the country's lightly armed security forces into a regular army, a move likely to anger Serbia.(AP Photo)

    Members of Kosovo Security Force (KSF) attend a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Commander Adem Jashari death, in capital Pristina, Kosovo in this photo taken on Sunday, March 5, 2017. Kosovo's president asked parliament on Tuesday March 7, 2017, to transform the country's lightly armed security forces into a regular army, a move likely to anger Serbia.(AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Members of Kosovo Security Force (KSF) attend a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Commander Adem Jashari death, in capital Pristina, Kosovo in this photo taken on Sunday, March 5, 2017. Kosovo's president asked parliament on Tuesday March 7, 2017, to transform the country's lightly armed security forces into a regular army, a move likely to anger Serbia. (AP Photo)

    Members of Kosovo Security Force (KSF) attend a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Commander Adem Jashari death, in capital Pristina, Kosovo in this photo taken on Sunday, March 5, 2017. Kosovo's president asked parliament on Tuesday March 7, 2017, to transform the country's lightly armed security forces into a regular army, a move likely to anger Serbia. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Kosovo's president has asked the Assembly, the national parliament, to transform the country's lightly armed security forces into a regular army.

Hashim Thaci on Tuesday submitted a draft law saying that "the transformation of Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into an army is a normal step of a sovereign and independent state."

The president regretted that the ethnic Serb minority has opposed the draft based on a stand "known to originate from Serbia."

The KSF has about 4,000 regular and 2,500 reserve forces. The plan is to increase regular forces to 5,000 and reserves to 3,000.

Thaci also said international military forces deployed in Kosovo since 1999 will remain.

The KSF was created in 2009, a year after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, recognized by 114 countries but not by Belgrade.