Israel and Kosovo have agreed to establish diplomatic ties and Kosovo, along with Serbia, will open embassies in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday.
Kosovo, a predominantly Muslim country, has never before recognized Israel nor has Israel recognized Kosovo.
Netanyahu’s statement came shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump made a similar announcement in Washington, where he met with leaders of Serbia and Kosovo as they agreed to normalize economic ties between them.
“Kosovo will be the first country with a Muslim majority to open an embassy in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said in a rare statement issued after the start of Shabbat.
“As I’ve said in recent days – the circle of peace and recognition of Israel is expanding and more countries are expected to join.”
Only two countries – the United States and Guatemala – have already opened embassies in Jerusalem.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who with broad international backing want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War, as their capital.
The announcement by Trump came after two days of meetings between U.S. administration officials, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti. The two leaders agreed to cooperate on a range of economic fronts to attract investment and create jobs. Continue Reading….