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Foreign Secretary welcomes Kosovo ruling

The International Court of Justice's Advisory Opinion on Kosovo concludes that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not break international law.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“I welcome the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on Kosovo, which confirms that that Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence did not violate international law. Kosovo has been functioning as an independent State for 2½ years. I encourage other States that have not so far recognised Kosovo now to do so. Kosovo is a unique case and does not set a precedent.

The delivery of the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion is an important milestone in the journey towards Kosovo and Serbia’s EU future.

The legal process before the ICJ has now come to its end. This means an end to debate about Kosovo’s status. It means a renewed focus on improving the lives of ordinary people of all communities in Kosovo and Serbia through co-operation between the two States. Kosovo and Serbia must look forward to the next stages of their progress towards becoming EU Member States.

The UK holds firm in its conviction that Kosovo’s status as a State and with its territory defined by its existing borders is a positive force for stability in the Western Balkans. I urge both Kosovo and Serbia to embrace this opportunity to reconcile and to become good neighbours.

Kosovo and Serbia together must forge a new path built on the values at the root of the EU’s existence: democracy, rule of law and peaceful co-existence of States. Baroness Ashton has offered the EU’s support in helping Kosovo and Serbia to do this, and I hope the offer will be accepted. I reaffirm the UK’s support for the EU perspective of Serbia and Kosovo.”

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Published 22 July 2010