(AFP) – Aug 15, 2008
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Serbia on Friday formally submitted a request for an advisory ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kosovo's unilateral independence, saying the approach could serve as a model to settle other similar disputes.
Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic asked that the request be included in the agenda of the UN General Assembly session next month.
He submitted a draft resolution that calls on the General Assembly to seek ICJ advisory opinion on "the legality of the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo," which Belgrade and its Russian ally strongly oppose.
"We hope the General Assembly will react positively," Jeremic said, pledging that Serbia "is going to accept any opinion that comes from the ICJ."
"Serbia believes that an advisory opinion of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations -- the International Court of Justice -- would be particularly appropriate in the specific case of determining whether Kosovo's UDI (unilateral declaration of independence last February 17) is in accordance with international law," the document states.
Jeremic said Serbia's decision to seek a peaceful, diplomatic resolution of the Kosovo dispute "can serve as a model as to how to approach issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity around the world," clearly referring to the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the renegade Georgian enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Last February, the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo, a UN-run province of Serbia, unilaterally seceded from Belgrade. Its independence has so far been recognized by 45 countries, including the United States and most of the European Union nations.
Serbia -- which considers Kosovo the cradle of its history, culture and Christian Orthodox religion -- and its traditional ally Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, immediately rejected the move, claiming it was illegal and a violation of international law.
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