Kosovo President: ICJ Ruling No Invite for Global Separatism

World | July 22, 2010, Thursday // 19:43
Bulgaria: Kosovo President: ICJ Ruling No Invite for Global Separatism Kosovo Albanians celebrate in the streets of Pristina, Kosovo, on 22 July 2010, as the ICJ ruled that Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia 'did not violate' international law. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu has sought to assuage fears that Thursday’s ruling of the International Court of Justice in favor of Kosovo’s independence might spur a wave of separatism around the world.

“All nations which have not yet recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state should do this as soon as possible,” Sejdiu declared, as cited by BGNES, commenting after the UN Court issued a ruling that the February 2008 declaration of independence of the former Serbian province was “not illegal.”

He has described the day of the ICJ ruling as a “blessed day” for Kosovo and all of its residents, and has pointed out that Serbia and Kosovo have a “common path.”

“We invite Serbia, and especially President Tadic and his government to give up their current approach. The common path of out two states and of other countries in the region leads to the EU and NATO,” declared the President of the Republic of Kosovo.

Kosovo is no precedent for any other case,” he stated explicitly seeking to dampen fears that a number of quasi-states might be encouraged to try to wrestle their independence the way the former Serbian province did.

The fear of a wave of secessions in Europe and elsewhere has been a major trump card of the Serbian government and those supporting its claims on Kosovo against a ruling of the ICJ that could solidify the independence of the young republic.

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.

"I expect Serbia to turn and come to us, to talk with us on so many issues of mutual interest, of mutual importance. But such talks can only take place as talks between sovereign states," Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Skender Hyseni stated shortly before the ruling was made public as quoted by Al Jazeera.

Shortly after the ICJ announced its opinion, the Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic declared Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's secession.

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Tags: kosovo, Kosovo independence, Serbia, Vuk Jeremic, Kosovo President, Fatmir Seidiu, ICJ, International Court of Justice
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