Belgrade, which denies the statehood of former province, unhappy after investing ‘serious efforts’ in relations with Jerusalem
Serbia’s foreign minister said Tuesday the government was “not happy” with Israel’s decision to recognize Kosovo, a former Serbian province whose statehood Belgrade denies and has waged a diplomatic battle to delegitimize.
The reaction came a day after Israel and Kosovo established diplomatic ties in what was a major victory for Pristina’s efforts to gain full global recognition of the independence it declared in 2008 following a war with Serbia in the 1990s.
Kosovo has since been recognized by much of the Western world, but its rejection by Serbia’s key allies Russia and China has locked it out of the United Nations. Until Monday, Israel was another key holdout on Belgrade’s side.
First Muslim state to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; ceremony held via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions; Ashkenazi says Pristina’s mission likely to open in the spring
Israel and Kosovo formally established diplomatic ties on Monday, with the Muslim-majority territory also recognizing Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital — putting it at odds with the rest of the Islamic world.
In a ceremony held over Zoom in Jerusalem and Pristina, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and his counterpart from the Republic of Kosovo, Meliza Haradinaj Stublla, signed a joint declaration establishing ties.
Travel restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of Ben Gurion Airport, made an in-person ceremony impossible.