The controversial move comes after Israel recognized Kosovo’s independence and means there are now three countries with embassies located in Jerusalem.
Kosovo claims to have officially opened its Israeli embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the first European country to establish an embassy in the disputed city whose status lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday said the move was made after the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel on February 1 and a Kosovo-Serbia summit held at the White House in September.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora announces that the Kosovar Embassy in the State of Israel, headquartered in Jerusalem, has been officially opened,” the statement said.
Kosovo follows the United States and Guatemala in establishing its embassy in Jerusalem.
Kosovo’s decision was made when outgoing Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti met Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at the White House in September with then-President Donald Trump.
“The placement of the state plaques and flag at the Kosovar Embassy in Israel reflects the Kosovo government’s commitment to honor the promise to establish the diplomatic mission in Jerusalem,” he said.
A truly proud and historic moment for relationships 🇽🇰 🤝 🇮🇱.
The Republic of Kosovo officially opened today its embassy in Jerulasem!
The greatest honor of my life is to have this opportunity to open the embassy and proudly serve my country in Israel. pic.twitter.com/beUFmOeA5g
– Ines Iron (@ InesDemiri1) March 14, 2021
Ines Demiri, Kosovo affairs officer in Israel, called it a “truly proud and historic moment”.
“The greatest honor of my life is to have this opportunity to open the embassy and proudly serve my country in Israel,” Demiri wrote on Twitter.
The Palestinians claim that occupied East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, is the capital of a future state.
Most of the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and says competing claims to the city should be resolved through negotiations. Most of the international embassies are in Tel Aviv.
Recognition of independence
The move was in exchange for Israel’s recognition of Kosovo, a major victory for Pristina’s efforts to achieve full global recognition of the independence it declared in 2008 following a war with Serbia in the United States. 1990s.
Serbia refused to recognize the independence of its former province, so while Kosovo is now recognized by much of the Western world, its rejection by Belgrade’s main allies, Russia and China, has excluded it from the Nations. United.
Israel was another major obstacle until last month, when it established diplomatic relations with Kosovo.
In return, Kosovo followed suit recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.
Prime Minister-designate Albin Kurti found himself in a difficult diplomatic position before taking office after pressure from Turkey, a close ally of the new Western Balkan country, to change its mind on the location of Jerusalem.
Kurti said, “The location of the embassy should be considered after checking documentation from the outgoing government.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Kosovo that the move could damage future relations with his country.
In one of Europe’s most intractable disputes, Serbia has rejected Kosovo’s independence since its breakdown in a 1998-1999 war that ended only with a NATO bombing campaign against the Serbian troops.
Kosovo and Serbia face increasing pressure from the West to break the deadlock seen as crucial for either party’s accession to the European Union.