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REP. ENGEL CONGRATULATES KOSOVO ON STRONG, FAVORABLE ICJ DECISION – URGES COUNTRIES TO RECOGNIZE KOSOVO

International Court of Justice Rules Independence Declaration Legal

Washington, DC--Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Chair of the Albanian Issues Caucus, today called on countries around the world to recognize the independent Republic of Kosovo now that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared that its declaration of independence was legal.

Rep. Engel said, “Today’s ICJ advisory opinion is a victory for Kosovo.  Now countries around the world can feel comfortable in moving ahead with recognition of Kosovo and should do so as soon as possible.”

Today, the ICJ issued an “advisory opinion” on Kosovo’s declaration of independence.  The ICJ advisory opinion said that international law contains no "prohibition on declarations of independence" and therefore, Kosovo's "declaration on 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law." Kosovo has been recognized by 69 countries, including the United States, 22 of 27 countries in the European Union, and all of Kosovo’s immediate neighbors, except Serbia. 

Rep. Engel is also circulating a letter for signature in the House of Representatives which urges the Obama Administration “to redouble its efforts to encourage other countries in all corners of the globe to recognize the Republic of Kosovo and to urge our friends and allies to do the same.”

Rep. Engel said, “Kosovo has made great strides as a sovereign, independent country by holding successful democratic elections, passing key laws to protect minorities and promote economic growth, and establishing peaceful, productive relations with its neighbors.  It is time that countries around the world fully appreciate that there is a new nation-state in Europe and recognize and establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo.”

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