"Consensus in Slovakia not to recognize Kosovo"
Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčak has told the Tanjug news agency in an interview on Wednesday that his country would not recognize Kosovo.Source: Tanjug
This is not a political issue for Bratislava, but rather a position of the entire society, he was quoted as saying.
Lajčak said that Slovakia believes that Serbia has done enough to earn an EU invitation for the opening of membership talks, and voiced hope that the European Council will make this decision formal on June 28.
Commenting on the announcement of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta that he will discuss possible recognition of Kosovo with his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico, Lajčak said:
"When people ask me whether Slovakia will change its position or why it still has not changed the stance, I ask them if they heard any politician, read any article, heard any journalist, representative of a non-governmental organization or a citizen say that Slovakia should recognize Kosovo. They have not."
"This stance is based on a resolution of the Slovak parliament but is also accepted by the entire society," he added.
"This is not a matter of political decision, but rather an expression of the situation in the society. So, when Prime Minister Ponta arrives next week, I am sure he will get the same answer from my prime minister," Lajčak stressed.
Speaking about Slovakia's position regarding a possible decision for the EU to open pre-accession talks with Serbia, the foreign minister said that Bratislava is of opinion that Serbia has done enough to earn the invitation for the EU talks without additional conditions and with the implication that the agreements that have been made, including the ones with Priština, will be fulfilled.
The agreement between Belgrade and Priština signed on April 19 was a big and difficult decision, Lajčak said.
"The decisions made by the government in Belgrade are really difficult and brave, but for me, they are an expression of government accountability to the future of this country and its citizens, since this has become a necessary prerequisite for Serbia's future EU membership," the Slovak foreign minister concluded.