Spain hails Serbian decision on Kosovo

8th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spain, which has said it will not recognise Kosovo as an independent state, Wednesday hailed Serbia's decision to seek "dialogue" with Pristina following a deal with the EU.

"Spain wishes to express its deep satisfaction" at the Serbian-EU agreement, the Spanish foreign ministry said in a statement.

"With this accord Serbia strongly reaffirms its desire to continue the firm steps in the European integration process, in a constructive spirit."

Serbia's government said in a statement earlier Wednesday that a draft resolution, which is set to go before the UN General Assembly, now "presents a compromise which Serbia has reached in cooperation with the European Union".

The amended draft "calls for a dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina in accordance with our principal stance that a mutually acceptable solution... can be found through negotiations."

Belgrade insisted however that the draft "does not, in any way, recognise the independence" of Kosovo.

The Spanish statement said the resolution "opens the prospect of a dialogue between Serbia and the Kosovo authorities, which Spain hopes will soon produce fruitful results, with the help of the European Union".

In February 2008, Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia, despite fierce opposition from Belgrade, which continues to consider it as its southern province.

So far 70 states, including the United States and most European Union countries, have recognised Kosovo as an independent state.

But Spain, which faces its own separatist pressures at home in Catalonia and the Basque region, broke ranks with most of its EU counterparts and refused to recognise Kosovo's independence.

© 2010 AFP

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