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ICJ ruling on Kosovo is a chance to bring clarity and certainty to Western Balkans

Date

23 Jul 2010

Sections

Global Europe

Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament have welcomed the non-binding ruling from the International Court of Justice today in The Hague that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was not illegal under international law.

Annemie Neyts (Open-VLD, Belgium), ALDE group spokesperson on foreign affairs welcomed the decision of the judges, though it was not unanimous:

"This decision will help bring more clarity and certainty to the region. The European Union's new High Representative should now encourage those Member States who have not yet formally recognised Kosovo to do so and then work with Serbia to facilitate a more constructive approach to the dispute in the broader context of deeper EU relations."

Jelko Kacin (LDS, Slovenia), Parliament's standing rapporteur on EU-Serbia and Vice-chairman of the EP Delegation to South-East Europe relations commented:

“ICJ's advisory opinion must not remain a moment in the history of troubled relations between Belgrade and Pristina.”

“Today's advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kosovo's independence brings about new and different challenges. It should mark a new beginning of advanced relations between Belgrade and Pristina and a genuine turnabout towards friendly dialogue”, stated Jelko Kacin.

“All countries of the Western Balkans aspire to EU membership. Dialogue and enhanced institution building are the only means by which political, social and economic progress towards the EU, and in the relations between the two countries, can be made. The EU membership remains at the top of the strategic agenda of both Serbia and Kosovo”, concluded Jelko Kacin.

For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84

e-mail: neil.corlett@europarl.europa.eu

Web: http://www.alde.eu

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