The Spanish government has confirmed it will withdraw most of its troops from Kosovo by the end of the summer.
This is despite criticism from Nato and the United States.
Spain’s defence minister Carme Chacon announced last week that the country would withdraw its 600 troops from the Nato-led force in Kosovo.
Confirming the decision today, Chacon said that Spain could not take part in Kosovo’s process of nation building. She said Spain does not recognise the province’s declaration of independence.
Spain says its troops will be brought out in stages, with most retruning home by Autumn.
Spain is one of five European Union countries that refuses to recognise Kosovo’s independence, fearing that it could set a precedent for separatists at home including the Basques.
Last week Spain’s prime minister said improved security conditions in Kosovo were also behind the decision to pull troops out.