Turkey expresses 'concern' at Kosovo, Serbia embassy move to Jerusalem

"The relocation by any country of its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would constitute a clear violation of international law," Ankara said.

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic speaks during a joint news conference with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan after their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, October 7, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/DJORDJE KOJADINOVIC)
Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic speaks during a joint news conference with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan after their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, October 7, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/DJORDJE KOJADINOVIC)
Turkey has expressed disappointment and "concern" at Friday's announcement that Kosovo intends to establish diplomatic ties with Israel and that Kosovo and Serbia plan to open embassies in Jerusalem.
The announcement was made by US President Donald Trump on Friday, during a meeting to establish normalized economic ties between Serbia and Kosovo. In 2018, America was the first country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Kosovo's planned embassy in Jerusalem saying, "It is disappointing that such a step, which would constitute a clear violation of international law, is even considered by the Kosovo authorities."
The statement also elaborated on Turkey's support for its fellow Muslim nation, saying that, "Turkey, one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo, has also provided great support for the efforts toward the international recognition of this country from the very outset. However, we do not find it right to build this process against international law and especially upon the suffering of the Palestinian people whose territories are under occupation.
"We call upon the leadership of Kosovo to comply with these resolutions and refrain from acts that would harm the historical and legal status of Jerusalem, and that would prevent Kosovo from being recognized by other states in the future," the statement said.
Israel has not recognized Kosovo since the tiny Balkan nation declared independence from neighbor Serbia in 2008.
“Kosovo will be the first Muslim-majority country to open an embassy in Jerusalem," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday. "As I said during recent days, the circle of peace and recognition of Israel is expanding, with more countries expected to join.”
"My government is dedicated to open the embassy in Jerusalem, establish diplomatic relations and deepen bilateral relations," Kosovan Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti wrote on Twitter in response to Netanyahu.
Ankara also condemned the move by Serbia to relocate its embassy, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying in a separate statement, "We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Republic of Serbia to relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem."
"The relocation by any country of its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would constitute a clear violation of international law."
"We call upon all countries to comply with the UN resolutions on this matter, to respect the historical and legal status of Jerusalem and to refrain from acts that would further hamper the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the ministry said.
Turkey and Serbia have had mixed relations over the years, punctuated in 2013 by a speech by then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in which he claimed: "Do not forget that Kosovo is Turkey and Turkey is Kosovo." However, Serbia has stated that it sees a stable Turkey as vital for the Balkan region. The two currently enjoy full diplomatic relations.