Turkey Asks Kosovo To Reconsider Embassy In Jerusalem

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Kosovo opens embassy in Jerusalem. (Kosovo Foreign Ministry)

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked Kosovo’s new prime minister to reconsider the Balkan nation’s recent opening of an embassy in Jerusalem.

Erdogan made the request in a letter congratulating Prime Minister Albin Kurti, who took office earlier this week. Kurti’s media office released a copy of the letter Thursday.

Kosovo formally opened an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem last month following the establishment of diplomatic ties with Israel on Feb. 1 and a White House summit Kosovo’s now-former prime minister attended in September with then then-U.S. President Donald Trump and Serbian President Aleksander Vucic.

Kosovo became the first European country and the first Muslim-majority one to establish an embassy in downtown Jerusalem in the western part of the city, following the United States and Guatemala.

Erdogan had warned Kosovo’s government earlier that the move could damage future relations with ally Turkey.

Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed, as the capital of a future state.

Most of the international community doesn’t recognize the Israeli annexation of east Jerusalem and says the competing claims to the city should be resolved through negotiations. Most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Under Trump, the U.S., was the first country to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, followed by Guatemala.

Several other countries have either opened or pledged to open lower-level diplomatic offices in the city.

(AP)