Thursday, March 20, 2008

Romania reiterates opposition to Kosovo's independence declaration

BUCHAREST, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Romania's decision of not recognizing the independence of Kosovo remains unchanged, Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu said Wednesday.

Romania will not change its stand even though Serbia's neighbors Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary have officially recognized Kosovo as an independent state, the minister said.

Romanian President Traian Basescu and other Bucharest officials have repeatedly said Romania will not recognize the independence declared unilaterally by the Pristina-based ethnic Albanian authorities.

"Romania has clearly said that, in the absence of a UN resolution and in the absence of the observance of the international law, especially of the concept of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders, it cannot acknowledge Kosovo's independence. It is not easy for us to be in this position, but it is one of national interest," Basescu had said in December at the winter European council in Brussels.

"Romania is against a solution that is not accepted bilaterally both by Belgrade and Pristina," Cioroianu said soon after Kosovo's declaration of independence. "We have showed support, in principle, to a bilaterally accepted solution," he said.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, which was rejected by Serbia as illegal. The situation in Kosovo has remained tense since its declaration.

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