Pristina (In Palestine Today)- Kosovo has officially opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, six week after it formally established diplomatic relations with the occupation state.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo in Jerusalem will be strongly committed to increasing bilateral cooperation and strengthening the international profile of the state of Kosovo,” Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry said in a press statement today.
The new embassy was opened by Ines Demiri, Kosovo’s charge d’affaires in ‘Israel’, because representatives from Kosovo were unable to attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2020, former U.S. President Donald Trump gathered the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia at a White House summit meant to work toward the normalization of ties between the neighbors.
The summit was somewhat overshadowed by a White House announcement that Kosovo had agreed to recognize ‘Israel’.
At the meeting, Belgrade also agreed to move its embassy in ‘Israel’ to Jerusalem.
The Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and moved the U.S. Embassy to the occupied Jerusalem in May 2018.
Such a decision prompted criticism from the Palestinians, most Muslim-majority countries, and many states in Europe, concerned that it would undermine prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Last year, ‘Israel’ normalized ties with Arab states, including the UAE, Morocco, Bahrain and Sudan.
Most Western countries have recognized Kosovo’s independence, but Serbia and its allies Russia and China have not.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after NATO conducted a 78-day air campaign against Serbia to stop a bloody crackdown against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
On February 1, ‘Israel’ and Kosovo established diplomatic ties, and Kosovo’s government renewed its pledge on its embassy.
The European Union at that time urged Kosovo not to open an embassy in Jerusalem.
“The EU’s position on relocating embassies to Jerusalem is clear. All the embassies of the EU member states, as well as the EU Delegation to Israel, are located in Tel Aviv,” EU spokesman Peter Stano said.