Croatia supports Kosovo on its path to joining NATO

Croatia supports Kosovo on its path to joining NATO

Croatia supports Kosovo on its path to joining NATO Izvor: Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL, Ilustracija

Croatia is prepared to share its know-how and assist Kosovo on its Euro-Atlantic path, just as it had assisted Montenegro, and just as it is now helping Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Defence Minister, Damir Krsticevic, said after meeting the Minister of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), Rrustem Berisha.

Berisha said Croatia was a friendly country and a strategic partner to Kosovo, adding that his country could learn a lot from Croatia.

"With this meeting, we want to boost cooperation, which is in the interest of both of our countries, but also in the interest of peace and stability of the entire region," Berisha added.

The meeting also discussed the process of transforming the lightly armed KSF into a standing national army, which Kosovo Parliament voted for last month in spite of opposition from its ethnic Serb minority deputies.

Berisha briefed Krsticevic about three draft bills intended to allow the transformation of KSF into a 5,000-strong army, adding that they are all "in accordance with the Kosovo Constitution, with the new KSF mandate intended to be in the interest of all of its citizens."

Kosovo still has NATO troops stationed in its territory, ten years after it unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, which Belgrade does not recognise.

During his visit to Croatia, Berisha also visited HS Produkt, a Croatian firearms manufacturer which is EU's second largest exporter of handguns to the US market, second only to Austria's Glock, and also produces assault rifles used by the Croatian Army.

The two ministers also discussed good cooperation in the education sector. Krsticevic said that over the law five years, a total of 40 Kosovo Security Force members have been trained at a Croatian military academy.

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