PRISTINA/BELGRADE, July 24 (Reuters) - Serbia and Kosovo both said they would launch diplomatic offensives over independence for Kosovo, a day after the World Court said its 2008 secession from Serbia did not violate international law.
In a major blow to Serbia's attempts to hang on to the breakaway territory, the International Court of Justice in The Hague said in a non-binding ruling that Kosovo's declaration of independence was not against international law.
In response, the Serbian government held an emergency session on Friday and pledged to step up its diplomatic efforts to stop more countries recognising of Kosovo as a state.
Kosovo meanwhile said it would renew its global campaign to lobby more countries than the 69 at present to recognise its sovereignty and help it secure membership of the United Nations.
"We have prepared letters asking governments to recognize Kosovo's statehood and will start sending them from today via mail, e-mail and fax," said Kosovo Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Albana Beqiri. "The court's decision was so clear that now there is no reason for not recognising us."
Serbia said it would send envoys to 55 countries to deliver a personal message from President Boris Tadic calling for support in its diplomatic efforts. Ambassadors in another 40 capitals will do the same, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said. "I am personally going to address representatives of non-aligned countries in New York next week," Jeremic told a news conference.
Jeremic warned the ICJ ruling would boost secessionist movements across the world.