Kosovo becomes first Muslim nation to open Jerusalem embassy

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Kosovo becomes first Muslim nation to open Jerusalem embassy

Its new building makes it the second country in Europe and the fourth in the world to officially recognise the city as Israel's capital

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Kosovo opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on Sunday (Photo: Twitter/@MFAKosovo)
Kosovo opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on Sunday (Photo: Twitter/@MFAKosovo)

Kosovo has become the first Muslim-majority nation to open an embassy in Jerusalem, making it the latest in a small number of countries to recognise the city as Israel’s capital.

The Kosovar foreign ministry announced the move in a statement on Sunday, six weeks after it established diplomatic ties with Israel on February 1.

It is the second European country and the fourth in the world to open an embassy in Jerusalem.

The Czech Republic’s embassy on Washington Street was inaugurated last week in a ceremony attended by Israel’s foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Andrej Babis, the Czech prime minister.

Several countries have now opened an embassy in Jerusalem since late 2017, when Donald Trump changed US policy and recognised the city as the official capital of Israel.

Palestinians and many in Europe criticised the decision, saying no decision on the status of Jerusalem should have been taken while the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved.

The US embassy moved in May 2018 from Tel Aviv, where most other countries base their diplomatic missions.

Until last week, only Guatemala had followed the US lead.

Kosovo’s decision to relocate was taken last year, when outgoing Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti met Trump at the White House.

His designated successor Albin Kurti had come under pressure from a number of countries, including Turkey, to change his mind.

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