Kosovo Opens Jerusalem Embassy; PA, Arab League Slam Prague for Embassy Branch
The Palestinian Authority and the Arab League on Saturday both criticized the Czech Republic for opening an embassy branch in Jerusalem. On Sunday, meanwhile, Kosovo announced that it had officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem.
Kosovo, which formally established diplomatic ties with Israel on February 1, is the first Muslim-majority country to open an embassy in Jerusalem. The United States and Guatemala are the only other countries that have opened full embassies in Jerusalem.
The Czech Republic opened a branch of its Tel Aviv embassy in Jerusalem on Thursday. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis was in attendance at the dedication.
The PA called the move “a blatant attack on the Palestinian people and their rights, a flagrant violation of international law.” Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement: “The legal status of Jerusalem will be affected by the decision of one country or another to open representative offices. East Jerusalem is an occupied land under the International law.”
The Czech foreign ministry said in a statement that “The establishment of the office has no impact on the will of the Czech Republic to further develop political and economic relations with the Palestinian Authority.” The ministry also made clear that the office was not the country’s embassy.