Spain sticks to its decision to pull out of Kosovo
Spain is sticking to its decision to pull its troops out of Kosovo despite international criticism, Defence Minister Carme Chacon said Monday, dpa reported.
Spain's 620 soldiers will be withdrawn from the NATO-led KFOR force gradually and in coordination with NATO, the minister said at the military base of Rota in southern Spain.
The decision had been taken by the "whole" government, Chacon said, following a report by the daily El Pais that Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos had not been consulted over the move.
It makes no sense for Spanish troops to participate in a building a country the independence of which Madrid does not recognize, government representatives have explained.
Spain opposes Kosovo's 2008 independence declaration as a dangerous precedent for other potential breakaway regions, such as Spain's Basque region.
Chacon announced the withdrawal last week, angering Spain's NATO allies who said they had not been consulted over the move. The United States said it was "deeply disappointed."