Friday, March 28, 2008

Romania to reiterate stance on Kosovo at NATO Summit

BUCHAREST, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Romania will reaffirm its stance on the non recognition of Kosovo's independence during the upcoming NATO Summit, Defense Minister Teodor Melescanu said on Thursday.

"We will reaffirm very clearly our stance saying that the required conditions are not fulfilled so that Romania may recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo," Melescanu was quoted as saying by the official Rompres news agency.

"Romania's stance on the issue is based both on reasons related to the norms of the international law and on practical reasons, taking into account that the borders of the province are not recognized by some of its neighbors," he stressed.

Romanian Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu said last week at a political level Romania backs up the preparations for the "future role the Alliance will play in the framework of a controlled management process of Kosovo's future", stressing that the involvement of the Romanian contingent in Kosovo will happen in a manner that should not lead to an implicit recognition by Romania of the province's independence.

The NATO Summit is to take place in Bucharest on April 2-4 with the enlargement, operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo as its main topics.

Romanian President Traian Basescu has repeatedly said Romania will not recognize the independence declared unilaterally by the Pristina-based ethnic Albanian authorities.

Romania cannot acknowledge Kosovo's independence 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, Basescu said at the winter European council in Brussels in December.

"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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