Serbia Sour as Small Seceded State Secures Substantial Sovereignty Support
Serbia on Tuesday expressed its strong disapproval of Israel’s recognition of Kosovo, a day after the Jewish state and the small majority-Muslim eastern European country established full diplomatic relations. “We have invested serious efforts in our relations with Israel in recent years and we are not happy with this decision,” Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said, threatening that Jerusalem’s move will “undoubtedly influence relations between Serbia and Israel.” Kosovo, which in 2008 declared its independence from Serbia following years of bloody struggle and has since worked to gain international support, agreed to open its embassy in Jerusalem in exchange for Israel’s official recognition. The deal, brokered by the previous White House administration, means Kosovo will join just a handful of countries who have pledged to do so, with only the United States and Guatemala actually opening their missions in Jerusalem so far. Turkey’s foreign ministry on Monday denounced Kosovo’s decision as a violation of international law and resolutions, saying it would “undermine the two-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinian Authority lays claim to east Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel during the 1967 war, as the capital of its future state.