Eastern European Embassy Established in Epicenter of Enduring Explosive Enmity
Six months after first announcing its plans to officially recognize Israel as part of a four-way deal that also included neighboring Serbia and the United States, Kosovo on Sunday opened its official embassy in Jerusalem, becoming just the third country in the world to take the controversial step. “The pledge given in the Oval Office is finally fulfilled,” Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry tweeted, though an official opening ceremony has yet to be announced. The move follows Thursday’s news of a new Czech diplomatic office inaugurated in the Israeli capital, which will serve as a branch of Prague’s Tel Aviv embassy. In September, Kosovo and Israel agreed to establish formal ties with one another, part of a larger deal between Kosovo and Serbia brokered by Washington. Only the United States and Guatemala have opened official missions in Jerusalem, while most nations prefer to wait for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which includes major disagreements over the fate of eastern Jerusalem, to be resolved first. Israel conquered the territory, along with the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights, during the 1967 war.