Kosovo premier, NATO chief speak amid Serbia tensions

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Kosovo premier, NATO chief speak amid Serbia tensions
In this photo taken on Sept. 9, 2018, soldiers of NATO-led peacekeeping force KFOR take a break by the side of the road in the village of Kosterc, Kosovo. Serbia's prime minister warned on Wednesday that the formation of a Kosovo army could trigger Serbia's armed intervention in the former province — the bluntest warning so far amid escalating tensions in the Balkans. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Kosovo’s prime minister and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have spoken on the phone about the country’s plan to form a new army, a move that has been strongly contested by Serbia and the alliance.

A statement from Kosovo’s government on Thursday said Ramush Haradinaj assured Stoltenberg the transition from the Kosovo Security Force into a regular army would be done in close cooperation with NATO.

It doesn’t say how Stoltenberg responded.

On Wednesday, Stoltenberg said “It … may have serious repercussions for Kosovo’s future Euro-Atlantic integration.”

Serbia has warned the formation of a Kosovo army could trigger an armed intervention.

Kosovo’s parliament will vote Dec. 14 on the formation of a regular army. Kosovo declared independence in 2008, a move which Serbia doesn’t recognize.