Britain welcomes UN court's finding on Kosovo
Britain on Thursday welcomed the UN top court's ruling in favour of Kosovo's 2008 independence declaration, urging other countries to now recognise it as a state.
"I welcome the International Court of Justice's Advisory Opinion on Kosovo, which confirms that Kosovo's Declaration of Independence did not violate international law," said Foreign Secretary William Hague.
"Kosovo has been functioning as an independent state for two-and-a-half years. I encourage other states that have not so far recognised Kosovo now to do so."
The ICJ in The Hague said earlier Thursday that Kosovo's independence declaration conformed to international law, in a finding that was non-binding.
Sixty-nine countries recognise Kosovo as independent, including the United States and all but five of the 27 EU member states.
Serbia insisted it would never recognise the finding in favour of Kosovo, but Hague said the move presented an opportunity for the pair to set aside their differences.
"I urge both Kosovo and Serbia to embrace this opportunity to reconcile and to become good neighbours," said the foreign minister.
"Kosovo and Serbia together must forge a new path built on the values at the root of the EU's existence: democracy, rule of law and peaceful coexistence of states."
© 2010 AFP