Spain persists in refusal to recognize Kosovo
Spain will not recognize Kosovo as an independent state, despite the United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that it broke no laws in declaring independence in 2008, Spanish media reported Friday, DPA reported.
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic that the ICJ decision on Thursday opened a "new phase," but that it did not change Spain's position.
Spain will not establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo at least for the time being, the daily El Pais quoted diplomatic sources as saying.
Spain considers Kosovo's independence a violation of international law and Serbia's territorial integrity. Kosovo is a special case insofar as its independence resulted from ethnic cleansing and a war, the sources said.
Spain is one among five European Union countries that refuse to recognize Kosovo. Spain withdrew its peacekeeping troops from the former Serbian province in 2009.
Spain is believed to be concerned about the possibility of Kosovo's independence boosting separatist tendencies in its own Basque and Catalan regions.
The Catalan separatist party ERC welcomed the ICJ decision, saying it showed that "democracy is above the principle of territorial integrity."