US, EU Welcome ICJ Ruling on Legality of Kosovo Independence

World | July 22, 2010, Thursday // 21:19
Bulgaria: US, EU Welcome ICJ Ruling on Legality of Kosovo Independence Both Catherine Ashton and Hillary Clinton (pictured here together in January 2010) have welcomed the ICJ ruling in favor of Kosovo's independence. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The top diplomats of the United States and the European Unions have welcomed the advisory ruling of the International Court of Justice stating that Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence was “not illegal.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described the ruling as “decisive” support for the independence of the youngest Balkan Republic, and has urged all nations, including Serbia, to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty, and to become committed to a constructive dialogue in support of peace and stability in the Balkans.

The EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has likewise “welcomed” the advisory opinion of the UN court, and has urged the authorities in Belgrade and Prishtina to engage in a dialogue.

“The European Union is welcoming the opinion of the International Court. We are analyzing it very carefully,” the EU High Rep for foreign policy declared in a communique, while also proposing to help with mediation.

"The EU is ... ready to facilitate a process of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. This dialogue would be to promote cooperation, achieve progress on the path to Europe and improve the lives of the people," Ashton said.

She has pointed out that the future of both Serbia and Kosovo lies with the EU, and that this future of good neighborly relations should be the main priority of these Balkan states.

The ICJ came to issue its advisory opinion after the Kosovo independence matter was referred to it by the General Assembly of the United Nations where it was raised by the Serbs who questioned the legality of the independence.

Kosovo has been recognized by 69 states so far, including the USA and 22 out of 27 EU member states (including Bulgaria), and the Kosovo authorities hope that the ICJ ruling will lead to a number of new recognitions of their sovereignty.

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Tags: Hillary Clinton, Catherine Ashton, US Secretary of State, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, kosovo, ICJ, International Court of Justice, Kosovo independence, Serbia

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