The Old City of Jerusalem (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)

Since the announcement of the Israeli-UAE peace agreement, the list of countries vowing to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state has been growing continuously.

By TPS and United with Israel

Serbia has announced the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem, being the first European country to do so, followed by Muslim-majority Kosovo’s statement that it will open its Israel embassy in Jerusalem.

The two historic announcements were made as part of a normalization agreement between Serbia and Kosovo brokered by US President Donald Trump and signed at the White House on Friday.

The next day, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera announced plans to open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.

Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan tweeted, “Another breakthrough, another Muslim country normalizing ties with #Israel. After the UAE & Kosovo, I believe more Muslim & Arab states will opt for peace, leaving the #Palestinians isolated. Perhaps this will convince future Palestinian leaders to make concessions for peace.”

“After the UAE and Kosovo, I believe more Muslim and Arab states will opt for peace, leaving the Palestinians isolated. Perhaps this will convince future Palestinian leaders to make concessions for peace,” he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked his “friend” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic for “the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer to it his country’s embassy.”

He also thanked Trump for “his contribution to this achievement. We will continue efforts so that additional European countries will transfer their embassies to Jerusalem.”

Trump telephoned Netanyahu during the meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Abdullah Hoti and congratulated the two leaders on their decision to establish full diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Kosovo will be the first Muslim-majority country to open an embassy in Jerusalem. As I have been saying in recent days, the circle of peace and recognition of Israel is expanding and additional countries are expected to join it,” Netanyahu stated.

Jerusalem – ‘A Bridge of Peace’

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed Serbia’s announcement as “an important and courageous step that testifies to the depth of relations between Israel and Serbia and will lead to the strengthening of the friendship between the two nations.”

Israel views the decisions made by Serbia and Kosovo to establish embassies in Jerusalem “as a symbolic step towards promoting peace between these countries. The city of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel, will constitute a bridge of peace to the entire world,” he added, calling on other countries to follow in their footsteps and move their embassies to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”

Ashkenazi also thanked Trump and the US administration for leading the move and “for its regional and international leadership.”

“The US administration continues to lead to significant diplomatic breakthroughs, both in our relations with Serbia and Kosovo, as in the promotion of normalization and the historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Israel has no better ally than the United States,” he said.

Jerusalem’s Mayor Moshe Lion welcomed the move. The capital “is the natural place of all the embassies located in the country, and I believe that in the coming years more countries will move their missions to Jerusalem.”

Guatemala opened an embassy in the city in May 2018 a day after the US became the first country in the world to do so.

Czech President Miloš Zeman, who has long campaigned for the relocation of his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, welcomed the announcement by the two countries. The Czech Republic has a cultural and trade center and Brazil and Honduras have trade offices in the capital.

American Jewish Leaders Welcome Development

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, following the announcements made by Kosovo and Serbia, said in a statement, “We welcome today’s historic agreement between Serbia and Kosovo that was brokered by the United States, which represents another diplomatic breakthrough for Israel just weeks after the announcement of the Abraham Accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”

“Under the terms of the agreement,” the statement continues, “Serbia will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move their embassy there from Tel Aviv, and the majority-Muslim Kosovo will establish formal reciprocal diplomatic relations with Israel,” it added.

“This is a significant development on two fronts: it furthers international recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and it builds on progress made to cultivate ties between Israel and Muslim countries. This achievement advances efforts to enhance stability and cooperation while sending a clear message to those promoting extremism and violence​.

“We congratulate the Serbian, Kosavar, Israeli and American leaders who worked tirelessly on reaching this agreement and look forward to its implementation in the coming days. It is our hope that more countries will follow in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and establishing formal diplomatic relations with the Jewish state,” the statement concludes.

Bahrain announced on Thursday that it will allow Israeli flights to pass over its territory en route to the United Arab Emirates. The decision comes a day after Saudi Arabia said that flights to and from the Emirates “from all countries” would has permission to use its airspace.

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