The UN’s decision to refer the issue of Kosovo’s status to the International Court of Justice has met with dismay in Pristina, which declared independence earlier this year.
Serbia argued that seeking the ICJ’s opinion would reduce ethnic tensions and promote reconciliation.
Seventy seven countries voted in favour, but six, including the US, voted against.
Kosovan President Fatmir Sejdiu insisted his country’s future path was guaranteed:
“We and our many international supporters have continuously said that the issue of Kosovo’s independence has been solved and is irreversible. We understand the right of the UN General Assembly to seek this opinion, although this decision will not help the efforts of promoting long-term stability in Kosovo and the region.”
Belgrade has rejected claims that its request is politically motivated and designed to slow down Kosovo’s international integration.
But experts say the large number of abstentions – 74 – showed that many countries did not agree.
The EU was also split – the majority of the 27 member states abstained, but Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Greece and Cyprus voted in favour, saying international law should be respected.