BELGRADE, Serbia, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The International Court of Justice is likely to rule in Serbia's favor that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence is illegal, a Serbian official says.
Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic says the ICJ, which is set to consider Kosovo's move starting Dec. 1 in The Hague, will probably opt to rule it was a secession, buttressing Belgrade's claims that Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government broke international law, the Serbian news Web site B92 reported Monday.
"We have reason to believe that the court will base its opinion solely on legal merits and will make a decision that ... the unilateral proclamation of independence by the temporary institutions on Feb. 17, 2008, was an ethnically motivated effort of secession which represents a violation of international law," Jeremic told B92.
The Web site said officials from 28 countries and the Kosovo authorities will all make presentations at the non-binding ICJ hearing, which is set to last until Dec. 11.
"This will be a historic process," he said. "There have never been more countries signing up to participate in a public debate, and never all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council."