Kosovo and Israel have formally formed diplomatic relations at a ceremony held digitally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In their respective countries, Kosovo Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla and her Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, assembled a virtual ceremony to sign the documents.
“We are making history today,” Ashkenazi said. “We are establishing diplomatic relations between Israel and Kosovo.”
In her address, Haradinaj-Stublla replied, “We mark a new chapter in the historical bond between our countries.”
Kosovo will be the third country after the U.S. and Guatemala to have its embassy located in Jerusalem. It is also the first nation with a European or Muslim majority to do so. Kosovo has reportedly chosen a site in Jerusalem and plans to open the embassy in the next couple of months.
The agreement to normalize bilateral relations between Kosovo and Israel was reached in a White House summit between the Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in September of last year. In late 2017, the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and, in May 2018, relocated the U.S. embassy there.