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Kosovo's PM Accuses President Of Violating Constitution With 'Secret' NATO Deal

Updated

Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti speaks during a press conference in Pristina on February 26.

PRISTINA -- Kosovo's new prime minister claims President Hashim Thaci violated the constitution by signing a 2013 "secret agreement" with NATO to limit the powers of the country's security forces when he was prime minister.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti informed parliament speaker Vjosa Osmani of his concerns in a letter on February 26.

Osmani said she had forwarded the letter to all legislators.

Thaci did not immediately comment on Kurti's allegations.

The matter related to an exchange of letters on April 19, 2013 between Thaci and then-NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, according to Kurti's office.

It said the alleged agreement gave the alliance's peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, KFOR, "absolute veto powers" over any actions by the Kosovo Security Forces in the ethnic Serb-dominated areas in the north of the country.

In his letter to Osmani, a copy of which was also sent to Thaci's office and the chief prosecutor, Aleksander Lumez, Kurti vowed not to take any steps that would endanger cooperation between Kosovo and NATO.

In a Facebook post, Osmani said that "demands that every institution in Kosovo respect the constitution and the constitutional procedures" should not be interpreted as an "attack" on NATO, but rather as "an advancement of democracy and transparency and respect for the law and constitution in the country."

In a statement e-mailed to RFE/RL, a NATO official said that "any movement by the KSF to the northern part of Kosovo requires prior notification to and agreement by the KFOR Commander."

"For 20 years, peace and stability in Kosovo has been a priority for NATO. Our mandate has not changed, and we will continue our peacekeeping mission," the statement added.

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