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Turkey urges Kosovo against opening Jerusalem embassy

An Israeli flag flies from the Kidmat Zion Israeli settlement on the outskirts of the Palestinian village of Abu Dis, where the Old City with its golden Dome of the Rock is seen in the background, August 18, 2008 in East Jerusalem, Palestine [David Silverman/Getty Image]
Israeli flag. [David Silverman/Getty Image]

Turkey on Sunday urged Kosovo against opening an embassy in Jerusalem, saying doing so would undermine UN resolutions and hurt the Palestinian cause, reports Anadolu Agency.

"We call on the leadership of Kosovo to abide by these [UN] decisions to refrain from such steps that would undermine the historical and legal status of Jerusalem and may also prevent Kosovo from being recognised by other states in the future," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement cited various UN resolutions stressing that the Palestinian issue can only be solved with an independent, sovereign, and geographically contiguous Palestinian state, with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on the pre-1967 borders.

On Saturday, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci tweeted:

I welcome the announcement of Israeli PM [Benjamin] Netanyahu about the genuine intention to recognize Kosovo and establish diplomatic relations. Kosovo will keep its promise to place its diplomatic mission in Jerusalem.

Also on Twitter, Prime Minister Abdullah Hoti made the same pledge.

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Turkey said it was "disappointing" that the majority-Muslim state is considering such a step, which would "constitute a clear violation of international law."

Turkey, one of the first countries to recognise Kosovo in 2008, has given wholehearted support for Kosovo's international recognition, the statement added.

"However, we do not find it right to build this process against international law and especially on the suffering of the Palestinian people, whose lands are under occupation," the statement added.

Turkey's response came after Serbian and Kosovar leaders met last week in a US-sponsored dialogue in Washington where they reached a historic milestone – agreeing to normalise economic ties.

Serbia and Kosovo signed separate agreements with the US in which Serbia agreed to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Kosovo and Israel also agreed to normalise relations and establish diplomatic ties.

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Europe & RussiaIsraelKosovoMiddle EastNewsPalestineTurkey
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