There have been scenes of celebration in Kosovo following a UN ruling that the country’s declaration of independence was legal. The Balkan state has been fighting for recognition, since formally separating from Serbia two years ago.
Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci welcomed the ruling by the UN’s highest court and urged others to follow suit. Speaking in Washington he said: “I call again, in the name of the government of Kosovo, people of Kosovo, please recognise the independence of Kosovo because it is the right decision and the right time.”
Following a bloody war with Serbia and 10 years of international administration, Kosovo finally broke away in 2008.
Despite a 90 per cent population of Kosovan Albanians, Serbia continues to refute an independent Kosovo.
Serbian President Boris Tadic said: “Many countries will be under pressure to recognise Kosovo before discussion at the General Assembly of the UN. Serbia will put all its effort into making sure there are as few recognitions as possible, and making sure a resolution on a Republic of Serbia is recognised in the autumn.”
Belgrade says it will continue to push for a united Serbia that includes Kosovo, through negotiations with ethnic Albanian leaders.