Statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following conversations with President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia, and Mr.Ramush Haradinaj of Kosovo

Today, I called both President Vučić and Mr Haradinaj to brief them on the outcome of Wednesday's meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers on the Western Balkans. I underlined that both Belgrade and Pristina should show calm and restraint, and avoid any provocative statements or actions.

With Mr. Haradinaj, I raised the plan to move ahead with the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into an army. I stressed that such a move is ill-timed, goes against the advice of many NATO Allies, and can have negative repercussions on Kosovo's prospects for Euro-Atlantic integration.  I reiterated that should the mandate of the Kosovo Security Force evolve, NATO will have to examine the level of our engagement with the Kosovo Security Force.‎ 

I also spoke with President Vučić on the need to de-escalate current tensions. I reminded both that the EU-mediated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina remains the only way to bring durable peace and stability to the region. NATO remains committed to the security and stability of Kosovo through our UN-mandated KFOR peacekeeping mission.