Arab Parliament Condemns Kosovo’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

The Arab Parliament condemned Kosovo’s decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, which recognized the disputed holy city as the capital of Israel, Jordan’s state agency Petra reported as quoted by Arab News. The organization urged Kosovo on Tuesday to change their mind and to abide by international resolutions on the legal state of the holy city.

The pan-Arab organization, Tuesday, urged Kosovo to backtrack on its controversial decision about the location of the embassy that flouts the international law and to abide by the international resolutions on the Jerusalem.

The Arab Parliament Speaker Adel Asoomi emphasized that Kosovo’s decision to recognize Jerusalem has no legal impact on the ground and will not change the city’s historical and legal status quo, stressing Jerusalem’s fate should only be determined through negotiations and not through unilateral decisions that violate the international law.

Israel and Kosovo established diplomatic ties on Monday, with the Muslim-majority territory recognising Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabriel Ashkenazi said he approved “Kosovo’s official request to open an embassy in Jerusalem.”

In exchange for setting up its mission in Jerusalem, Kosovo gets recognition from Israel, as it seeks to further legitimise its 2008 declaration of independence from its former war foe Serbia.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, officials signed joint declarations separately on Monday in Jerusalem and Pristina. Kosovo’s top diplomat, Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla, thanked Israel for becoming the 117th country to recognise its independence, joining much of the Western world.

“Kosovo has waited for a very long time to establish diplomatic relations with Israel,” Haradinaj-Stublla said.

Turkey on Tuesday criticized Kosovo’s commitment to open an embassy in Jerusalem, saying it violates UN resolutions and international law.

“Kosovo’s commitment in question is in violation of international law, in particular UN resolutions adopted on this matter,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.

Aksoy added that the step taken by Kosovo would not serve the Palestinian cause and would harm two-state solution vision.

The Arab league in the strongest terms on Tuesday also condemned Kosovo’s recognition of Jerusalem as “capital of Israel” and its decision to establish an embassy in the occupied city. The Secretary General Ahmad Abulgheit said in a statement Kosovo’s decision in this regard is “illegitimate and constitutes a breach of the international law that recognizes the city of Jerusalem as occupied territory whereby barring transfer of embassies to it.

“The decision also contradicts international unanimity with regard of opening embassies in occupied Jerusalem where only two states have violated this stance, the United States and Guatemala.” United Nations Security Council Resolutions in this respect are explicit, he said, alluding in particular to the UNSC Resolution 478/1980 that denounces Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and prohibits establishment of diplomatic missions in the city.

Opening an embassy in the city does not alter the reality that it is under occupation and its destiny can only be determined through negotiations for Jerusalem constitutes one of the most final solution crucial issues between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, Abulgheit added.

Recognition of Jerusalem as “Israel’s capital” comes against the logic of peaceful settlement and the two states’ solution, he has affirmed further.

The decision followed Israel’s normalisation of ties with four Arab states under a series of deals brokered by former US president Donald Trump, collectively known as the Abraham Accords, that took place last year.

Unlike Kosovo’s decision to relocate their embassy, those who were part of the Abraham Accords – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan – have all said their diplomatic missions will remain in Tel Aviv, in line with a global consensus against recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital until the Palestinian conflict is resolved.

China, Russia and five European Union members have not granted recognition to Kosovo.