US supports Kosovo`s membership in NATO`s "Partnership for Peace"

US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said in an interview with Radio Free Europe that the North Atlantic Alliance is concerned about peace and stability in the Western Balkans, following the outbreak of Russia`s war in Ukraine.

Smith also reiterated the United States' position on Kosovo's membership in NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

"The United States supports Kosovo's integration into European or Euro-Atlantic organizations 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 program ", said Smith, reminding us that the decision for membership of any country in this program, as in NATO itself, is taken by consensus of 30 member countries.

"There is no qualified majority voting. All decisions are made between us, 30 members. This is the term we use, and 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."

The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, had requested assistance for membership in the Partnership for Peace through a letter sent to the American President, Joe Biden, in March of this year.

The Government of Kosovo has said that it has already established a working group for membership in the Partnership for Peace.

Partnership for Peace is a NATO program, which aims to build trust between NATO member states and other countries in Europe.

According to NATO, the Partnership for Peace aims to increase stability, reduce threats to peace and build stronger security relations between partners and NATO.

The program covers almost every area of ​​NATO activity, such as defense-related work, defense forums, training, military exercises, civil emergency, and other disaster response planning, but also cooperation in science and the environment. In total there are close to 1,600 activities.

Currently, 21 countries are part of the Peace Partnership. The admission of each new member is done by the unanimous decision of the 30 states of the alliance, in a vote held in the Atlantic Council.

Autor: RFE