Kosovo’s Independence Declaration To Be Referred International Court


09.10.2008 13:29 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The UN General Assembly has voted to refer Kosovo’s
independence declaration to the International Court of Justice. The ICJ
will be asked to give an advisory, non-binding opinion on the legality
of Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in February.

Seventy-seven countries voted in favor, six against and 74 abstained.

Serbia and Russia say Kosovo acted illegally. But nearly 50 countries
– including the U.S. and most of the EU – have recognized it as
independent. Serbia argued that asking the ICJ to give its opinion
would actually reduce tensions and promote reconciliation.

Many countries who voted in favor said this was not a political
decision but a legal one, and every state had a right to ask the court
for an opinion. But the large number of abstentions shows that other
countries saw this as highly political.

For the 48 countries which have recognized Kosovo but support the
court this was a tricky vote, she says. The U.S. voted against,
calling this an unnecessary and unhelpful move.

Most EU countries abstained – Britain called Serbia’s request
primarily political. But the EU was split, with Romania, Slovakia,
Spain, Greece and Cyprus voting in favor. They all said international
law should be respected.

It could take up to two years for the court to issue its opinion,
BBC reports.

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