TIRANA, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha on Thursday welcomed a UN court's ruling which backs Kosovo's independence, saying it is a contribution to the peace in the region.
"This is a historic decision. It is a major contribution to the peace and stability in the Balkans and beyond,"Berisha told reporters after the International Court of Justice announced its ruling.
The court, based in the Hague of the Netherlands, ruled on Thursday that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 didn't violate international law.
"The court's ruling opens a new chapter and will bring a new approach to the relations between Albanians and Serbians," Berisha said.
Berisha also called for more countries to recognize the independence of Kosovo, which has only been recognized by 69 countries among the 192 countries in the United Nations.
Kosovo, an autonomous Serbian province, declared unilateral independence in February 2008. Among the 2 million people in the province, about 90 percent are ethnic Albanians.
Kosovo's independence has been supported by the United States and most major European countries, but it is firmly rejected by Serbia and its ally Russia.