US donates 55 military vehicles to Kosovo

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PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo on Monday received 55 armored security vehicles donated by the United States for the Kosovo Security Force, or KSF.

The U.S. has heavily supported the KSF’s 3,400-troop force which was turned into a regular army more than two years ago, although its name has not been changed to armed forces as planned. This is the final donation.

President Vjosa Osmani said the donation was another proof of the “special and close relationship” between the two countries.

Earlier this year, Kosovo sent a military platoon to Kuwait, its first involvement in an international peacekeeping mission.

Kosovo on Sunday also welcomed a group of 111 NATO-affiliated Afghan evacuees.

In a decade, the KSF is expected to have 5,000 troops and 3,000 reservists, mainly to deal with crisis response and civil protection operations.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, almost a decade after a brutal 1998-1999 war between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb forces that was ended by a 78-day NATO air campaign. It is recognized by most Western nations but not by Serbia or its allies Russia and China.

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