Kosovo's president seeks NATO support for creating army

Kosovo's president has called on NATO to support the transformation of its security force into a regular army with heavy weaponry.

President Hashim Thaci sent a draft law to parliament last week seeking approval to form a regular army. The move was immediately denounced by Serbian leaders, who refuse to recognize the independence its former province declared in 2008.

NATO and the United States have warned they could scale back cooperation with Kosovo's security services if the government goes ahead with plans to transform its lightly armed security force into an army without amending the country's Constitution.

The Western military alliance has helped train Kosovo's security force.

Thaci says securing the necessary parliamentary backing for constitutional amendments is not viable since lawmakers representing the country's ethnic Serb minority are boycotting Parliament.