PA, Hamas condemn Kosovo for opening embassy in Jerusalem

Jordan, Turkey also speak out against first Muslim-majority territory to recognize city as Israel’s capital

Illustrative: A Kosovo government official takes a self-photo during a signing ceremony held digitally, in the capital Pristina, establishing diplomatic ties between Kosovo and Israel, February 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

Palestinian representatives on Monday condemned Kosovo for opening an embassy in Jerusalem, after it became the first Muslim-majority territory to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

Kosovo, which formally opened the embassy on Sunday, made the move in exchange for Israel recognizing the independence it declared in 2008, following a war with Serbia in the 1990s.

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Serbia ‘not happy’ with Israel’s recognition of Kosovo, says it will impact ties

Belgrade, which denies the statehood of former province, unhappy after investing ‘serious efforts’ in relations with Jerusalem

A Kosovo worker drags the red carpet next to Kosovo’s and Israel’s flags displayed during a ceremony at the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in Pristina on February 1, 2021 (Armend NIMANI / AFP)

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.

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Muslim-majority Kosovo forges ties with Israel; will open embassy in Jerusalem

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

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi signs a joint declaration establishing ties with Kosovo during an official ceremony held over Zoom with his counterpart from Kosovo, Meliza Haradinaj Stublla, onscreen, at the Israeli Foreign Ministry headquarters in Jerusalem on February 1, 2021. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

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.

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