Kosovo’s 2010 victory at ICJ has boosted Balkan region’s stability

Kosovo’s 2010 victory at ICJ has boosted Balkan region’s stability

Kosovo’s 2010 victory at ICJ has boosted Balkan region’s stability
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Ten years ago, on July 22, 2010, the Republic of Kosovo and its allies won their case before the UN’s highest judicial body. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague ruled that the 2008 Declaration of Independence, adopted by the representatives of the people of Kosovo, did not violate any applicable rule of international law.

The Declaration of Independence and the ICJ ruling have secured Kosovo’s statehood and personality under international law. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supported Kosovo all along, with a view to promoting peace and prosperity across the whole Balkan region.

Represented by its ambassador to the Netherlands, Abdullah Alshaghrood, Saudi Arabia made a strong statement in favor of Kosovar independence before the ICJ.

The Kingdom recognized the Republic of Kosovo, said Alshaghrood, because the “independence and self-determination of Kosovo has come to meet the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of the population of Kosovo.”

According to the Saudi diplomat, the 2008 declaration was the last step in a settlement process that came in line with international law. The ICJ agreed.

Saudi Arabia’s early recognition of independence and active support at the ICJ has contributed to Balkan peace and prosperity.

Lulzim Mjeku

On the 10th anniversary of our victory, as Kosovo’s ambassador in Riyadh, I express my gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to the first Saudi ambassador to Kosovo, Abdullah Abdul Aziz Abdulkerim, and Ambassador Alshaghrood for their unreserved support for the Republic of Kosovo.

In recognizing Kosovo as a new state, existing nations adopted a political and legal act that has fostered international order by bringing to an end the process of the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation.

Kosovo’s independence is a historic event that has strengthened regional stability and accelerated the process of Balkan integration into the EU.

Recognition is much more than an issue. It is a set of political reasoning and circumstances that leads states to recognize new ones. They are intertwined and conditioned by domestic, regional and international socio-economic realities, perceptions and interpretations.


READ MORE: The ICJ decision that set Kosovo on the path of independence


The states that emerged out of the break-up of Yugoslavia were recognized since, from the legal standpoint, their internal boundaries were elevated to international borders due to the escalation of armed conflict, thus observing the principle of uti possidetis (as you possess, thus may you possess) applicable in the Kosovo case.

Having declared independence based on the proposal of Martti Ahtisaari, the UN envoy, Kosovo today exercises positive sovereignty in its territory. The country expects to gain recognition for its contribution to regional stability.

Independence was the culmination of almost a decade of international efforts at resolving the conflict, whose pinnacle were UN-sponsored negotiations. Kosovo remains determined to expand the number of states that recognize the new factual reality, while acknowledging that political and socio-economic factors impose different timelines for many countries.

The issue of recognizing Kosovo’s independence has gained supreme legal relevance by the unequivocal opinion of the ICJ of 22 July 2010. Kosovo has consolidated its personality and stepped into the international arena with a proactive foreign policy. This and the state’s contribution to regional security represent the key message of state recognition.

  • Lulzim Mjeku is the Ambassador of Kosovo to Saudi Arabia
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