US backs Kosovo’s plan to join NATO peace programme

“The United States supports Kosovo’s integration into European or Euro-Atlantic organisations and institutions. We believe that countries should have the right to determine their union and membership. We would certainly support Kosovo’s move towards the Partnership for Peace programme,” Smith said about Kosovo, which recently applied for membership in the Council of Europe. [Shutterstock/Bumble Dee]

The US supports Kosovo’s plan to join NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, US Ambassador Julianne Smith said on Thursday after Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti expressed his country’s desire to join.

In an interview with RFL, Smith spoke about the Western Balkans, the upcoming Madrid summit, and Finland and Sweden’s request to join the Alliance.

“The United States supports Kosovo’s integration into European or Euro-Atlantic organisations and institutions. We believe that countries should have the right to determine their union and membership. We would certainly support Kosovo’s move towards the Partnership for Peace programme,” Smith said about Kosovo, which recently applied for membership in the Council of Europe.

However, Smith also noted that all NATO decisions must be unanimous. “Everything that happens here in the NATO alliance happens by consensus…where all 30 states must agree on it. So, this will be a decision that will have to be taken by consensus if Kosovo decides to try to move towards a Partnership for Peace,” she specified.

Slovakia, Spain, Greece, and Romania, who are all NATO members, do not recognise Kosovo as a sovereign state.

“We are all very worried about peace and stability in the Western Balkans… So, the US will support Kosovo in its determination and efforts towards the Partnership for Peace,” Smith continued.

During the interview, Smith also said that NATO met with all members to review their security needs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February,

All NATO members are expected to meet in Madrid on 29 and 30 June for their next summit.

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