The Kosovo Security Force (KSF) has received 337 new recruits, including 22 from minority communities, Klan Kosova is reporting - but without specifying which communities they came from.
KSF Commander Rahman Rama, in addressing the recruits at the Adem Jashari barracks, asked them for maximum involvement in the transition of this force, while Defense Minister Rustem Berisha said there was diversity within the KSF, indicating that there were 52 women among the 337 young soldiers, while 22 come from minority communities.
"Our strategic goal is NATO membership," Berisha added.
The President of the Assembly of the so-called Kosovo Kadri Veseli said at the ceremony that Kosovo was not threatening anyone, adding, "our country's territorial integrity and borders are sacred, inviolable, today and forever," Kosovapress is reporting.
Speaking in front of the new cadets, Veseli described "being a member of the world's youngest army" as a privilege fostered by generations to come.
"You are a part of a defense force, born and developed in partnership with NATO, the most powerful alliance in the world, the guarantor of the values of freedom and democracy. Today we are proud of you. We believe in your patriotic commitment and professionalism," said Veseli.
Veseli said Kosovo is building an army that reflects the freedom loving spirit of the people, the values on which Kosovo's independent and sovereign state stands, and the vision of taking a worthy place in Western political and military structures.
"The Kosovo army is today an indispensable element of stability and peace in the region. Kosovo army will continue the process of strengthening and professionalizing to become ready for the phase of NATO membership," Veseli stressed, announcing a bigger military budget.
The parliament speaker said he dreams about making Kosovo a prosperous country and one for all its citizens.
"We will succeed, as always. Kosovo has only one path: forward, economic development, empowering the state, NATO and EU integration. There is no other way and we will not allow anyone to direct us elsewhere," Veseli said.