Croatia to testify for Kosovo at ICJ

Croatia will testify before the International Court of Justice on behalf of Kosovo in December, a move daily Novi List believes will sour relations with Serbia.

The Rijeka-based daily adds that Croatia’s appearance before ICJ will not be taken lightly by Belgrade, and that Zagreb is steeling itself for a negative reaction.

Croatia, which will be the only country of the former Yugoslavia to take part in the debate, will not say anything new, says the daily. Rather, it will simply repeat its reasons for choosing to recognize Kosovo’s unilateral independence declaration in March 2008, as outlined at the time by President Stjepan Mesić and then Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.

The ICJ has been asked to gives its advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo Albanians’ unilateral independence, as to whether it is in accordance with international law. However, the court’s opinion cannot oblige any country to revoke its recognition of Kosovo independence.

The case is due to be heard between December 1-11, when 29 countries will give testimony on the Kosovo situation, including countries that have recognized Kosovo’s independence and those that have not and have no intention of doing so.

Given that Croatia also seceded illegally, it has to cover its backside by trying to make a case for Kosovo’s illegal secession. And why shouldn’t one WWII Axis-aligned state stick up for another (Albania) against the European state that fought back against the Nazis?