On Monday, Israel and Kosovo officially established ties by mutually recognizing each other during a virtual ceremony.
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Meliza Haradinaj-Stubla, was originally supposed to travel to Israel to attend the ceremony in-person, but due to Lockdown restrictions in Israel, she was unable to travel there. Reportedly, the airport the government official was going to take, Ben Gurion Airport, has been closed.
In a Facebook video from Haradinaj-Stubla, the official asserted that “despite the challenges [the citizens of Kosovo] faced and that affected our existence, we remained invincible as peoples and never gave up nor did we lose hope.”
The 36-minute ceremony video included officials from both countries, with Israel welcoming Kosovo’s officials and calling the ceremony a “historic” day.
Haradinaj-Stubla also remarked on the importance of the day and the new partnership with Israel in addition to thanking the United States for the “bipartisan support we have always received from you.”
She added, “Recognition by Israel is one of the greatest achievements for Kosovo, coming at a key moment for us, thanks to the United States of America, our common and eternal ally.”
The Republic of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and is currently recognized as a sovereign state by over 100 UN member states.
According to the State Department, “Since Kosovo’s independence in 2008, the United States and over 100 UN-member countries have recognized Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state. The United States continues to support a multiethnic, democratic Kosovo, fully integrated into the international community. This remains a key pillar of U.S. efforts to stabilize the Balkan region and ensure a Europe that is strong and free.”
The State Department also reports that Serbia used to be rife with terror attacks due to strong ISIS presence. However, most of that is cleared up now.
Additionally, Serbia has helped fund anti-terrorism efforts and has ramped up anti-terrorism efforts within its own country that will continue into this year.
However, the CIA has noted they still dispute the Kosovo territory and the UN has sent in peacekeeping troops to help quell the remaining violence between the two countries.