Thursday, July 15, 2010

FM on ICJ's Kosovo case: Moment of truth

15 July 2010 | 09:19 | Source: B92

BELGRADE -- Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić reacted to the news out of the The Hague late on Wednesday that the ICJ would rule in the Kosovo case on July 22.

Vuk Jeremić (Tanjug, file)
Vuk Jeremić (Tanjug, file)

As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announces its advisory opinion on the legality under international law of the unilateral proclamation of independence made by Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, it will be a moment of truth, said Jeremić.

He added that the ruling will also be a warning to all those in Priština who thought they could change the basic norms of international law with their unilateral acts.

The minister noted that the announcement of the ICJ advisory opinion will not be the "last episode" in Serbia's fight for Kosovo, since the court will send its ruling to the UN General Assembly, which originally forwarded the case to UN's top court.

According to Jeremić, Serbia will face an uphill struggle at the General Assembly to win a majority for its cause, "perhaps more difficult than that of previous years".

"We must be aware that we will likely be exposed to fierce and well-paid Albanian propaganda and pressure to give up. We must remain composed and continue on the road we've taken, the one of peaceful and diplomatic fight, armed with international law to preserve our territorial integrity and reach a compromise solution for a future status of Kosovo and Metohija. Such a solution can only be reached via new negotiations," Jeremić said.

Meantime, in Priština, Kosovo Albanian government's foreign minister Skender Hyseni also reacted to the news by saying that after the July 22 ruling, the number of countries that recognize Kosovo would grow.

"We view this process with optimism. I do not see a single possibility that this opinion would go in Serbia's favor, because I do not see any possibility that the ICJ would take a position against the freedom of a people. A position in favor of Serbia would go against the freedom of Kosovo. I say this without any restraint," he was quoted.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanians made the unilateral proclamation in February 2008, and it was immediately rejected in Belgrade as an illegal act of secession. Recognized by the United States and 22 out of EU's 27 nations, but not by Russia or China, the territory remains outside the UN.

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