? BLOG UPDATE | Feb 2, 2021
As a result of the US-brokered deal, Israel and Kosovo are officially establishing ties
The list of countries forming closer ties with Israel is getter longer and longer. Kosovo is next in line and is slated to establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state on February 1st.
On this date, Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla, is expected to meet with her Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, for an online ceremony, marking the beginning of a closer relationship between the nations.
The meeting is the result of yet another US-brokered agreement.
In September 2020, political leaders of Kosovo and Serbia met with the former President of the United States, Donald Trump, to discuss diplomatic ties with Israel, and both of the Balkan countries reached an agreement with Israel.
As part of the deal, the Jewish state has also recognized Kosovo as an independent country.
The small Muslim-majority country of 1.8 million people declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 and has since then been recognized as an independent nation by most Western countries. However, Serbia has not.
“Recognition by Israel is one of the greatest achievements for Kosovo, coming at a key moment for us, thanks to the United States of America, our common and eternal ally,” the Kosovar foreign minister said.
Embassy on the way in Jerusalem
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla, announced that a virtual ceremony would take place on February 1st in a video posted on Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account.
“Kosovo is marking a new stage in its relations with Israel inherited from a long friendship between our peoples,” Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla said in the video and stressed the historic bonds between the two nations.
“When Jews were persecuted during World War II, they found their home among Albanians… As generous people and people of faith, we were with the Israeli people in their darkest period of history, as they were with our people during the most difficult and vital moments for us, when they opened the doors to Kosovar refugees and supported the cause of Kosovo for freedom,” she explained.
The US-brokered deal also includes a Kosovar embassy being established in Jerusalem, but no news has been reported about it for months.
Serbia is also expected to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital.
When the agreement was reached in September 2021, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Kosovo would be the first Muslim-majority country to open an embassy in Jerusalem.
Israel’s other new friends are also preparing to open embassies in the Holy Land soon.
Among them is the United Arab Emirates.
Last week, Israel opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi, and the Jewish state will also inaugurate a consulate in Dubai.
A liaison office in Rabat, Morocco is also on the way.