Diplomatic Relations Established Between Israel, Kosovo
Israel and Kosovo on Monday finalized their September agreement to establish diplomatic relations, officially signing the paperwork cementing formal ties between the two nations. Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi called the signing ceremony, conducted via Zoom as has become the new norm, “historic” and reflecting “a change in the region, and in the Arab [and] Muslim world’s relationship with Israel.” Kosovo also will open an embassy in Jerusalem in the coming weeks, joining only the United States and Guatemala in placing its mission in the Israeli capital, whose eastern neighborhoods are claimed by the Palestinian Authority as its own capital. Kosovo Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla on Monday said the two countries share a “historic bond” and had both “witnessed a long and challenging path to existing as a people and becoming states.” He noted the pact had recently received support from new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In September, former President Donald Trump announced the agreement as a side deal to an economic cooperation pact between Kosovo and Serbia, from which the former declared independence in 2008 after decades of bloody war.