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Kosovo Court Ruling: Party At Pristina

  • July 23rd, 2010
  • Posted by EUA Editor

kosovo-independence.jpegAfter the International Court of Justice ruled in favour of Kosovo’s independence (22.7.10), outside observers signalled a “business as usual” approach towards the territory, and efforts to help achieve a settlement of its dispute with Serbia.

The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, echoed the views of members across the political spectrum,  saying the court’s advisory opinion had to be supported, but an enduring settlement was needed.

“Ultimately, reconciliation will be achieved fully not through court rulings, but rather when peoples in the Balkans will be able to live, move and trade freely and peacefully”, he said.

Several MEPs called on the five European Union members which have so far not recognised Kosovo’s independence,  (Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain), to respond to the decision by taking that step.

international-court-justice.jpgThe former Serbian enclave declared its independence on 17.2.08, against bitter opposition from the government in Belgrade, but with support from the United States and several EU countries – and the court has now decided that move was not illegal. See EUAustralia Online: “Serbia, elections and Kosovo”, 10.3.08; “Kosovo, fraud and Al-Fayed”, 18.2.08.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of the NATO alliance, said the non-binding decision of the  Court would not affect the role of its peace-keeping troops there, the Kosovo Force (KFOR).

“KFOR will continue to implement its mandate to maintain a safe and secure environment in an impartial manner throughout Kosovo, for the benefit of all communities, majority and minority alike”, he said.

Few cared to suppose what impact the court may have had, if had decided the other way, denying the virtual fait accompli of the independence move and opening the way to intensified conflict.

The Serbian government, which denounced the breaking-away of Kosovo in 2008, declaring it illegal and a threat to the Serb ethnic minority there, says the court decision this week has not changed its position

There have been celebrations in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, where the outcome was seen as a victory.

The International Court of Justice at The Hague is an agency of the United Nations set up to adjudicate disputes between states and to give advisory judgments on legal issues entailed in international disputes.


SEE VIDEO
, Al jazeera, Oman, “ Kosovo welcomes court ruling”, 22.7.10.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmSu0xMdKL4&feature=player_embedded, (23.7.10).

Reference

BBC News, London, “Serbia rejects UN legal ruling on Kosovo’s secession‎”, 22.7.10. www.bbc.com, (23.7.10).

Brian Johnson, “EU Parliament welcomes court ruling on Kosovo”, TheParliament.com, Dods Ltd., UK, 23.7.10. http://www.theparliament.com/…, (23.7.10).

NATO, Brussels, press release, NATO Secretary General  … KFOR continues to do its job, 22.7.10.

Pictures

Kosovo independence 2008, blog.lib.umn.edu; seat of the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Wikipedia.

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