Turkey urges Kosovo to refrain from relocating its embassy to Jerusalem

Turkey urges Kosovo to refrain from relocating its embassy to Jerusalem

Turkey urges Kosovo to refrain from relocating its embassy to Jerusalem

Turkey called on Kosovo to refrain the opening of an embassy in Jerusalem, as that would undermine U.N. resolutions and hurt the Palestinian cause.   

Elaborating on a plan that Kosova will carry its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, such steps would undermine the historical and legal status of Jerusalem and may also prevent Kosovo from being recognized by other states in the future, said the Foreign Ministry in a statement on Sept. 6.

“It is disappointing that such a step, which would constitute a clear violation of international law, is considered by the Kosovo authorities,” read the statement.

The statement also cited various U.N. resolutions noting that the Palestinian issue could only solve with an independent, sovereign, and geographically sustainable Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem based on the pre-1967 borders.   

Turkey, one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo in 2008, has given wholehearted support for Kosovo’s international recognition, the statement added.        

“However, we do not find it right to build this process against international law and especially on the suffering of the Palestinian people, whose lands are under occupation,” according to the statement.   
Turkey’s response came after Serbian and Kosovar leaders met last week in a U.S.-sponsored dialogue in Washington where they reached a historic milestone, agreeing to normalize economic ties.        

Serbia and Kosovo signed separate agreements with the U.S. in which Serbia agreed to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Kosovo and Israel also agreed to normalize relations and establish diplomatic ties.     

On Sept.5, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci tweeted, “I welcome the announcement of Israeli PM [Benjamin] Netanyahu about the genuine intention to recognize Kosovo and establish diplomatic relations. Kosovo will keep its promise to place its diplomatic mission in Jerusalem.”        

Turkey also expressed its “deep concern” over Serbia’s decision to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Sept. 5.      

“We call on all countries to abide by the U.N. resolutions adopted on this matter, respect the historical and legal status of Jerusalem, and refrain from steps that will make the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict even more difficult,” said the Foreign Ministry in a written statement.

“It has been repeatedly emphasized in various U.N. resolutions that the Palestinian issue can only be solved with the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestine state on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” it stated.