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Serbia to seek UN Court ruling on separatists in Kosovo

December 10, 2007 14:31 ET
AFP

BELGRADE (AFP)--Serbia will ask the United Nations Security Council to seek an International Court of Justice opinion on the possible independence of breakaway Kosovo province, President Boris Tadic said Monday. 

"Serbia will urgently launch an initiative within the (U.N.) Security Council to obtain the opinion of the International Court of Justice over the legality or illegality of Kosovo's independence," Tadic told Serbian state television RTS. 

"This would be an important argument in a debate" to be led at the U.N. Security council on Dec. 19, Tadic said. 

The ICJ is the United Nations' principal judicial body and judges disputes between countries. 

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority leadership said they would begin coordinating a move to independence with the international community. 

The move came after the Dec. 10 expiration of a U.N.-set deadline for the end of months of fruitless negotiations on Kosovo's future. 

Serbia considers the southern province to be an integral part of its territory and history and has only been willing to grant it wide autonomy. 

Kosovo has been managed under U.N. Security Council resolution 1244, which was agreed on in 1999 after NATO bombed Belgrade to stop a crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.

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