K. Albanians to send “new arguments”

PRIŠTINA

Representatives of the Kosovo Albanian government in Priština will on July 17 send additional arguments to the International Court of Justice, reports said.The move, according to Albanian language daily Koha Ditore, will seek to “defend the legitimacy of the independence declaration”.The ethnic Albanians’ unilateral proclamation in February 2008 was rejected by Serbia as illegal. 

The new arguments are meant to counter statements submitted by other countries in the process before the court.

The newspaper reminds that among the Kosovo Albanian arguments are “right of nations to self-determination, Kosovo as a sui generis case, context of Yugoslavia’s disintegration, loss of Serbia’s moral and legal right over Kosovo because of systematic state violence, proclamation of independence in coordination with international factors, and inclusion of the UN in the process of defining a political status through its envoy Martti Ahtisaari”.

Beside Serbia and the temporary authorities of Kosovo, the statements were also sent by the Czech Republic, France, China, Cyprus, Switzerland, Romania, Albania, Austria, Egypt. Germany, Slovakia, Russia, Finland, Poland, Luxembourg, Libya, UK, U.S., Spain., Iran, Estonia, Norway, Netherlands, Slovenia, Latvia, Japan, Brazil. Ireland, Denmark, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Maldives, Sierra Leone, Bolivia and Venezuela.

In this stage, which will last until July 17 this year, all sides involved will have the right to provide the court with additional written arguments and comments on the written filings of other participants in the process.

The Hague-based International Court of Justice’s process of assessing the legality of the unilateral declaration was launched at the order of the UN General Assembly and at Serbia’s initiative.

A resolution adopted by the General Assembly ordered the ICJ to provide an advisory opinion on whether the unilateral proclamation in February 2008 was in line with international law.

After July 17, ICJ judges will review all the case documents and schedule a hearing, where the sides involved will exchange verbal arguments. The court will then hand down an advisory assessment of whether the declaration of independence was legal.

The ICJ is not bound by any deadlines, and the judges usually take months to reach a decision.

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