Serbia's Tadic optimistic over Kosovo independence hearings

Serbian President Boris Tadic has said a decision of the International Court of Justice on the Kosovo issue should be awaited with optimism, the Tanjug news agency said.

Serbian President Boris Tadic.

On Tuesday, The Hague opened hearings on the legitimacy of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. The hearings are to run until December 11, but the court decision is expected in April at earliest.

"The decision will probably be broadly defined and I mostly expect a positive outcome for Serbia, as the fact is that international law has been violated," Tadic was quoted by the news agency as saying.

Tadic said that should the court rule that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence was legitimate, it would cause "dramatic political crises across the world."

Serbia brought a case to The Hague for an advisory opinion on whether "the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo" is "in accordance with international law."

More than 60 countries, including major Western powers, have recognized the independence of Serbia's ethnic-Albanian-dominated province, which was declared in February 2008. The rest of the world, including Russia, China, India and several European Union countries, considers Kosovo to be part of Serbia.

"Serbia's aim is to renew negotiations on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija," Tadic said.

The hearings involve representatives of 28 states, including the five permanent Security Council members — Russia and China on Serbia's side and the United States, Britain and France supporting Kosovo.

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