Kosovo and Israel will today formally establish diplomatic relations following a summit brokered by the US in September. Though strikingly
Kosovo and Israel will today formally establish diplomatic relations following a summit brokered by the US in September.
Though strikingly similar to US-brokered normalisation treaties between Israel and Muslim-majority countries—such as the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco—Israel’s normalisation with Kosovo tells a different story. Kosovo, which has sought international recognition of its statehood since declaring independence from Serbia in 2008, has been a long-time supporter of Israel, even citing Israel as a role model for Kosovo. But despite openly signaling its willingness to establish relations, Tel Aviv has been hesitant toward normalisation from fear that its recognition of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence would set a precedent for Palestinians.
Yet with September’s summit at least nominally normalising economic relations between Kosovo and Serbia, Tel Aviv is now able to justify its recognition of the former by pointing to the minimal but existing progress made in peace talks between the two former foes. Still, as Serbia is far from recognising Kosovo’s statehood, expect Israel to face a strong backlash from both Serbia and the Palestinian Authority, the latter of which has also had strenuous relations with Kosovo.
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