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EU, Arab League warn Kosovo against opening embassy in Israeli-occupied Quds

This file photo shows Palestinians holding a protest at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. (By AP)

The European Union warns Kosovo that its intentions for establishing an embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds hardly helps the country’s hopes of joining the 27-nation bloc, which opposes recognition of Tel Aviv’s claim to the holy occupied city.

“Kosovo has identified EU integration as its strategic priority. The EU expects Kosovo to act in line with this commitment so that its European perspective is not undermined,” a spokesman for the bloc said, according to online newspaper EUobserver.

The official, who was not named, said the bloc did not agree with the regime’s claim that the city should serve as its capital in its entirety.

The Arab League’s Secretary-General Ahmad Aboul Gheit also reacted to the prospect of inauguration of a Kosovan mission in al-Quds, saying any decision to open up an embassy in the city was illegal because the city was under occupation and, therefore, could not host any such diplomatic mission.

By setting up a mission in al-Quds, Kosovo will not only be endorsing the Israeli claim over the city, but will also have acted in complete disregard for the Palestinians’ age-old demand that the city’s eastern sector be the capital of their future state.

Former US president Donald Trump announced an agreement between the Israeli regime and Pristina last year that paved the way for the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two.

Kosovan Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla and her Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi set up the ties during a virtual ceremony earlier on Monday.

Despite Brussels’ apparent unease at such moves, Serbia has also agreed to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds, Hungary has opened a diplomatic branch there, Romania has vowed to copy Budapest, and the Czech Republic has opened a new trade office in the holy city.

All these were made possible after Trump wheeled out a much hyped-up but hugely controversial plan early last year that he claimed was meant to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The so-called “deal of the century,” however, gave the Israeli regime huge concessions, including the recognition of its claim over al-Quds.

Also last year, the Trump administration began taking a number of pro-Israeli steps in line with the provisions that had been stipulated in the Middle East scheme. It started co-signing a set of agreements dubbed the “Abraham Accords” between the Israeli regime and regional Arab states that enabled normalization of their relations with Tel Aviv.

So far, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco have entered the accords.

Trump’s successor Joe Biden has chosen not to block any knock-on effect from the controversial initiative.

The Kosovan top diplomat said Biden’s administration had green-lighted further gravitation of Pristina to Tel Aviv. US State Department spokesman Ned Price hailed it in a tweet by alleging, “Deeper international ties help further peace and stability in the Balkans and Middle East.”

All Palestinian factions have, however, unanimously lambasted the trend of Washington-mediated encroachments on their rights to the areas that have been under Israeli occupation since 1967.

The groups, including the Palestinian Authority — which stopped recognizing any American intermediary role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict after Trump’s move concerning al-Quds — have called the violations a stab in their back and vowed to stick to their cause of liberation from Israeli occupation and aggression.

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