Israel and Kosovo Establish Diplomatic Relations After U.S. Deal

Israel and Kosovo established diplomatic relations on Monday, as the Balkan nation became the latest Muslim-majority country to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

The virtual ceremony between Israeli and Kosovan officials follows a September accord brokered by the Trump administration aimed at ending the two-decade conflict between Kosovo and Serbia. Part of that agreement entailed Kosovo normalizing ties with Israel, and Serbia moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

In his final months as president, Donald Trump oversaw the normalizing of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said that ties with Kosovo “reflect the many changes taking places in the region in recent months.”

The development was welcomed in a tweet by Ned Price, the spokesman for the Biden administration’s State Department.

Ashkenazi said he expects in the coming months to inaugurate a Kosovan embassy in Jerusalem. Only a small number of states have followed the U.S.’s 2018 decision to move its main diplomatic mission to the city. The policy shift incensed Palestinians, who demand the eastern part Jerusalem as their own future capital.

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