On July 22, the International Court of Justice delivered its advisory opinion regarding the compliance of Kosovo’s declaration of independence with international law. This opinion clearly affirms that Kosovo’s declaration of independence does not violate international law or resolution 1244, as France has always argued, and I welcome this.
Bearing in mind the probable disappointment of the Serbs and the likely satisfaction of the Kosovars, I reaffirm my personal friendship and that of the French people to these two countries.
The Court’s opinion consolidates Kosovo’s independence, which has been in effect for more than two years, and is already recognized by 69 States. The independence of Kosovo is irreversible. The opinion of the ICJ signals an important step towards putting an end to the legal debate on this issue, which will enable all parties to devote themselves, from now on, to other pending issues.
I also pay tribute to the work carried out over the last few weeks by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mrs. Catherine Ashton, aimed at reconciling the viewpoints of all of the parties.
We urge all of the States that were waiting for this advisory opinion in order to take the decision to recognize the new State, not to delay any longer.
Kosovo and Serbia must now also find the path of political dialogue in order to overcome, by adopting a pragmatic approach, the concrete problems that remain between Belgrade and Pristina, in the interest of everyone and, above all, the Serbian community of Kosovo.
Such a dialogue is important for the stability of the region. It is also necessary because the two States, Serbia and Kosovo, intend to become Member States of the European Union, and because their accession will be based on the assumption that they have established normal inter-State relations with each other enabling them to work together towards European integration.
22 July 2010 - Kosovo - ICJ advisory opinion - Declaration by High Representative Catherine Ashton on behalf of the European Union
The EU welcomes the publication of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. We are studying it with great care.
The advisory opinion opens a new phase. The focus should now be on the future. The future of Serbia lies in the European Union. The future of Kosovo also lies in the European Union. This is in line with the European perspective of the region and the relevant Council conclusions.
Good neighbourly relations, regional cooperation and dialogue are the foundations on which the EU is built.
The EU is therefore ready to facilitate a process of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade. This dialogue would be to promote cooperation, achieve progress on the path to Europe and improve the lives of the people. The process of dialogue in itself would be a factor for peace, security and stability in the region.
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