Slovakia "never said never" on Kosovo

BRATISLAVA, BUCHAREST -- Slovakia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikulas Dzurinda said on Thursday that he had never said Slovakia would never recognize Kosovo.

Slovakia has always made it clear that it takes very seriously into account the interest and stand of Serbia, he said.

Slovakia should act in a way to convince Belgrade that it seriously counts on Serbia's integration in the European Union and that can help to bring about the necessary dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, he said.

Unilateral secession from a country is not in the interest of Europe and cannot help to solve territorial disputes, Dzurinda said.

Territorial integrity is a fundamental principle of international law but so is coexistence of different ethnic communities, he noted.

Meanwhile in Romania, another EU country that has not recognized Kosovo, President Traian Basescu reiterated on Thursday that this would not change.

Romania believes that Belgrade and Priština should pursue negotiations, he said.

The advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the issue was not made following a thorough judgment of the case, Basescu told the annual meeting of Romanian diplomats.

Basescu's view was reaffirmed Thursday by Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi who clearly supported Serbia's European perspective.

If Western Balkan countries, especially Serbia, do not have a clear EU accession prospect or if the fatigue of EU enlargement continues, there is a risk of tensions and instability in the region, he said.