Middle East/North Africa

Kosovo opens embassy in Jerusalem

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Kosovo on Sunday opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, becoming the third country to locate its embassy in the disputed city.

Reuters reports that Kosovo, which has a Muslim-majority population, had promised to set up its embassy in Jerusalem following the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations through U.S.-led talks.

No date has been announced for a formal opening ceremony.

The new embassy is seen as another step toward the normalization of relations between Israel and Muslim-majority countries. However, Palestinian representative Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that Kosovo’s embassy went against U.N. resolutions and would “weaken the Palestinian cause,” Reuters reports.

The status of Jerusalem has been hotly contested between Israel and Palestine for decades, with both laying claim to the city.

The Trump administration moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during his Senate confirmation hearing in January that the Biden administration had no intention of reversing the move.

Shortly after assuming office, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. would be restoring relations with Palestine, a move that the government said it believed would help both the people of Israel and Palestine. This decision also renewed aid to Palestinian refugees that had been cut off under former President Trump.

Deputy U.N. Ambassador Richard Mills said at the time that the administration believed restoring Palestinian relations “remains the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish state and the Palestinians’ legitimate aspirations for a state of their own and to live with dignity and security.”

Tags Antony Blinken Donald Trump Israel Jerusalem Kosovo Palestine Liberation Organization

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