Former foes Kosovo and Serbia will move their embassies to Jerusalem after the two countries normalized economic ties with each other under a United States-brokered deal.
The agreement involves Kosovo and Serbia promoting investment and job creation between the two countries. President Donald Trump called the new agreement “historic,” saying that he looks “forward to going to both countries in the not too distant future.”
Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic joined Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office.
“Serbia and Kosovo have announced economic cooperation on a broad range of issues,” Trump said. But Serbian officials involved in the negotiations said they wouldn’t go as far as recognizing Kosovo as a fully-fledged state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement praising Serbia for being the first European country to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
“I thank my friend President Vucic of Serbia for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move their embassy,” Netanyahu said. “I also want to thank my friend Donald Trump for his contribution to this achievement.”
He also praised Kosovo for being the first Muslim-majority country to move its embassy to Jerusalem; the two countries agreed to establish diplomatic relations under the agreement.
“As I said in recent days the circle of peace is expanding and more nations are expected to join,” Netanyahu said.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci tweeted, “I welcome the announcement of Israeli PM @netanyahu about the genuine intention to recognize #Kosovo and establish diplomatic relations. Kosovo will keep its promise to place its diplomatic mission in #Jerusalem.”
I welcome the announcement of Israeli PM @netanyahu about the genuine intention to recognize #Kosovo and establish diplomatic relations. Kosovo will keep its promise to place its diplomatic mission in #Jerusalem 🇽🇰🇮🇱🇺🇸
— Hashim Thaçi (@HashimThaciRKS) September 4, 2020
The Simon Wiesenthal Center also tweeted that the agreement “bodes well for future of #Serbia(mostly Christian), #Kosovo(mostly Muslim), and #Israel(mostly Jewish) and for hopes for peace among people and different faiths. Kudos to Amb. [Ric] Grenell who has effectively took on anti-Semitism and #Iran while US Ambassador in #Berlin.”