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February 2, 2021 9:50 am

EU Threatens Kosovo Over Plan to Open Jerusalem Embassy

avatar by i24 News

European Union flags in front of the European Commission building, in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Amio Cajander via Wikimedia Commons.

i24 News – The European Union warned Kosovo on Tuesday that its decision to locate its still-to-be-opened embassy in Israel in the country’s capital, Jerusalem, will have repercussions on its accession to the supranational bloc.

The threat emanated from Brussels barely a day after Kosovo and Israel finalized diplomatic relations — over Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic — and the latter’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, confirmed that he had received and accepted a petition from Pristina to open the diplomatic mission in Jerusalem.

Peter Stano, the EU’s lead spokesperson for external affairs, reminded the Kosovans that every other EU country has its embassy located in Tel Aviv — and this is in line with Security Council Resolution 478, which calls for all UN members to do likewise, reported outlet Israel Hayom.

Stano added that the EU has a commitment to a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through dialogue “and to find a way to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the capital of the two resultant states.”

He added that he expected Kosovo to abide by the EU position, warning that not doing so could endanger the Balkan state’s accession to the bloc.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy maintained that Kosovo’s decision to establish an embassy in Jerusalem was a transgression of international law, although this could be read as a somewhat transparent move from one of the region’s most populous Muslim states, which has also recently sought accession to the EU.

Meanwhile, the blowback from the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Kosovo has not been only in one direction. Serbia declared its unhappiness over Jerusalem’s recognition of Kosovo, a former Serbian province whose statehood Belgrade denies.

It had already threatened that it would not move its own embassy to Jerusalem if Israel recognized Kosovan independence.

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