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Serbia president urges UN to call for ICJ opinion on Kosovo

[JURIST] Serbian President Boris Tadic [official website] urged UN members Thursday to support his country's request for an International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] advisory opinion on the legality of the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo [JURIST news archive]. In Thursday's letter [B92 report] to all UN members, Tadic stated:

The opinion of the ICJ as to whether Kosovo’s unilateral independence declaration was in line with international law is the most suitable track of activity in this specific case...The impartial advisory opinion is considered to be the most deserving interpretation of the principles of international legal order. The opinion of the ICJ would significantly contribute to easing tensions created as a consequence of the unilateral declaration of the independence of Kosovo, it would prevent unfavorable developments in the region and facilitate efforts for agreement between all the sides involved.
Tadic stressed [press release] that by asking the ICJ to issue an advisory opinion on the Kosovo issue, the UN can demonstrate the international community's dedication to the rule of international law. AP has more.

Kosovo's constitution [text] went into effect this summer [JURIST report] despite Serbia's argument that the charter of the breakaway province was legally void. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence [text; JURIST report], and cannot recognize the country's constitution as a legal fact. Serbia's view is that Kosovo's declaration of independence is a violation of the UN Charter and UN Security Council Resolution 1244 [PDF text], which reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Serbian state. The new state of Kosovo has been recognized by the US and most European states, but not by Russia, Serbia's closest ally.

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