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8 Oct, 2008 23:14

UN General Assembly gets ICJ to rule on Kosovo independence

The UN General Assembly has voted to have the International Court of Justice assess the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence. The hearings on the issue could take more than a year, delaying the country's integration into the international comm

77 in favour and 6 against – the United Nations General Assembly has voted in support of the International Court of Justice assessing Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence.

The voting highlighted the split in international opinion – Russia and China supported the idea, while the U.S. was strongly against, but apart from five small countries no one else backed their view.

The motion was proposed by Serbia and, understandably, Kosovo was none too pleased.

“As it was a bad idea for Kosovo, it will come back as a boomerang for Belgrade. Recognitions will continue. Our path is secured,” Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, stressed. 

But this security is still uncertain, and Serbia is keeping expectations high.

“We expect that the ruling is going to be that this was actually a violation of international law, the unilateral declaration of independence. And then it is going to become obvious that Kosovo can forever stay in this limbo, being recognized by a number of countries, but then again not being recognized by a vast majority of countries, not being able to join any important meaningful international organizations,” Serbia’s Foreign Minister, Vuk Jeremic, said. 

However, it’s too soon for either side to celebrate a diplomatic victory as it may take the ICJ up to two years to look into the matter.