US official calls on Kosovo to retract law on creating army

A senior United States official is calling on Kosovo leaders to retract a draft law on the transformation of its security force into a regular army and to continue consultations on the issue with the country's ethnic minorities.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hoyt Brian Yee urged the government in Pristina during a visit to Kosovo on Wednesday to "take the law off the table."

Earlier this month, President Hashim Thaci sent a draft law to parliament seeking approval to form a regular army. Unlike constitutional amendments, the law does not require voting approval from Kosovo's ethnic minorities.

NATO and the United States have warned they would scale back military cooperation with Kosovo if the government transformed its lightly armed security force into an army without amending the Constitution.