Spain, Romania, Cyprus lead countries which refuse to violate international law

EU member countries Spain, Romania, Cyprus and Slovakia voiced on Monday their strong opposition to the unilateral secession of Kosovo, arguing it was a clear violation of international law.

(KosovoCompromise Staff) Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dozens of other countries worldwide - from Azerbeijan to New Zealand, from South Africa to the Philippines and Indonesia - echoed this view and warned about irreparable consequences.

Russia and China have been firmly against Kosovo's independence for years, and they are now being joined by India and Brazil.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said in Brussels on Monday that Spain will not recognize the unilateral breaking away of Kosovo from Serbia.

‘We will not recognise a unilateral act that was passed by the Kosovo Assembly on Sunday", said Moratinos.

Spain will not recognise the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo because, Moratinos explained, that act does not respect the principles of international law.

Cyprus will never recognize the secession of Kosovo from Serbia as this act violates Serbia's territorial integrity, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis said Monday in Brussels.

"Cyprus deplores the unilateral declaration of independence by the majority in Kosovo, which constitutes a violation of Serbia's territorial integrity", she said after the European Union Council of Ministers session.

"This is an illegal and invalid act of secession which violates the Helsinki Final Act and the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 which guaranteed Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity", she noted.

The Romanian Parliament confirmed at its extraordinary session late on Monday the decision of the Romanian government not to recognize independence of Kosovo.

Romania's Parliament adopted a Declaration confirming the stand of Bucharest not to recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.

The Declaration was backed by 357 members of the parliament and senators, while 27 MPs of the Democratic Union of Hungarians voted against it.

On Monday, Kosovo independence took center stage in China's relations with Taiwan, which has been self-governing since the Chinese civil war in 1949 but which the Beijing considers to still be part of China.

China's Foreign Ministry criticized Taiwan for welcoming Kosovo's independence, saying the island's government did not meet the criteria for recognizing other countries.

"It is known to all that Taiwan, as a part of China, has no right and qualification at all to make the so-called recognition," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement.

For Beijing, the announcement conjures up one of its greatest fears: that Taiwan could some day make a similar declaration, something China says it would meet with military force. Chinese leaders also worry about separatist sentiments in the heavily Muslim regions of western China.

Dozens of thousands of Serbs also took the streets of Belgrade, Kosovska Mitrovica and Gracanica in Kosovo, as well as Banja Luka in Republika Srpska to protest against Kosovo's secession.