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Immediate Release

Readout of U.S.-Kosovo Bilateral Defense Consultations

Department of Defense Spokesman LtCol Garron Garn, USMC, provided the following readout:

On February 22-23, 2024, Mr. Alton Buland, Principal Director (PD) for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, co-chaired the U.S.-Kosovo Bilateral Defense Consultations (BDC) with Kosovo Minister of Defense Ejup Maqedonci. The meeting took place in Pristina, Kosovo. 

Participants included Major General Steve Osborn, the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard; Brigadier General Chris McKinney, Deputy J5 for Global Partnerships and Security Cooperation, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM); Colonel Darrick Mosley, U.S. Senior Defense Official and Defense Attache; and representatives from U.S. Embassy Pristina, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Kosovo Ministry of Defense, and Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) General Staff. 

The purpose of the BDC was to discuss bilateral security cooperation priorities and support for implementation of the KSF's 10-year transition plan to transform the KSF into a professional, multi-ethnic, NATO-interoperable, territorial defense force subject to civilian control for all the people of Kosovo.  Leaders shared information about projects aimed at helping improve the capabilities and interoperability of the KSF, upcoming military-to-military engagements, the State Partnership Program with the Iowa National Guard, and membership in international organizations.

PD Buland applauded Kosovo for the accomplishments the KSF has made in Phase II of its comprehensive transition plan and thanked Minister Maqedonci for the KSF's contributions to Ukraine including providing training and expertise in demining. The leaders reaffirmed the importance of adhering to the highest standards of democratic values, the rule of law, and human rights in all aspects for the bilateral defense relationship.

At the conclusion of the U.S.-Kosovo BDC, PD Buland and BG McKinney visited NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) Headquarters and its U.S. contingent to thank them for the role they play helping to contribute to stability in the Western Balkans.