Belgium to recognise Kosovo
EU ministers struggled to forge a common stance during a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.
A day after Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership made its historic declaration of independence from Serbia, the new country anxiously awaits reactions from around the world.
EU ministers struggled to forge a common stance during a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday. Drafting a unified statement was very tricky. Britain, France, Belgium and Germany said they would go ahead with recognition quickly. Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus and Slovakia are reluctant to recognise Kosovo as an independent nation. They fear that Kosovo's unilateral declaration could encourage separatists elsewhere in Europe.
Belgium is to officially recognise Kosovo soon.
A draft statement put forward by Spain called Kosovo's secession a one-off given its history of "conflict, ethnic cleansing and humanitarian catastrophe" in the 1990s at the hand of Serbia. Its adoption would be important, as it would make it possible for many EU nations to recognize Kosovo's independence as an exception to the rule of "territorial integrity" of nations under international law.
Peacekeeping force remains in Kosovo for now
NATO's command in Brussels issued a statement Monday saying its 16,000 peacekeeping force would remain engaged in Kosovo unless the U.N. Security Council decides otherwise.