Spain vetoes declaration for Sofia summit, report

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Source: REUTERS/Albert Gea

Spain has vetoed the draft text of a joint declaration supposed to be made public during the EU – Western Balkans Summit in Sofia scheduled to start on May 17, Madrid daily El Pais reported.

  Spain, which has not recognised Kosovo’s independence, said the reason was not “the EU foreign policy”, but that “the name and signature of PM Mariano Rajoy is not to be found at the same document, on the same level as the leader of Kosovo”, the paper’s report said, carried by B92 website.

According to the daily, this was confirmed by several diplomatic sources who added Rajoy would most likely leave the Summit before the meeting with the leaders of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

The Spanish PM will reportedly only take part at a working dinner with other EU leaders ahead of the Summit’s official kick off.

The Euraktiv website has reported that Rajoy told his Bulgarian counterpart, Boyko Borisov, whose country presides over the EU, that he “will have problems with the Balkan summit in Sofia”, and that he might leave because of Kosovo’s status as a state.

Madrid has submitted a “non-pepper” ahead of a new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans, in which it protested the mentioning of Kosovo, but also the reference to WB6, or “Balkan Six” because Kosovo was treated as a state.

Apart from Spain, four other EU member states have not recognised Kosovo’s independence – Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia, and Romania.