Turkey strongly condemns Kosovo's embassy in Jerusalem

The Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Kosovo’s decision to open its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

In a statement released Sunday, the ministry said it condemns in “strongest terms” Kosovo’s decision, while expressing concern about the decision.

The ministry also noted that the leaders of a country that suffered great pain have ignored the situation of the Palestinian people, who have been subjected to occupation and human rights violations for decades.

“ acting in such a manner, Kosovar leaders have violated relevant U.N. resolutions regarding Jerusalem’s status, as well as the status quo under the scope of the peace process and have damaged the vision of a two-state solution and hopes for peace in the region,” the ministry said.

The ministry also urged Kosovo to use common sense and renounce its “irresponsible and lawless step.”

Earlier on Sunday, the ministry also voiced “concern” over the Czech Republic’s move to open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.

The establishment of relations between Kosovo and Israel was preceded by agreements on the normalization of relations reached in recent months between the Jewish state and four Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decadeslong Mideast conflict, with Palestinians insisting that East Jerusalem – illegally occupied by Israel since 1967 – should serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

In 2017, two-thirds of U.N. member states rejected then-President Donald Trump’s decision to have the U.S. recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In all, 128 nations voted to maintain the international consensus that Jerusalem’s status can only be decided through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Only eight countries stood with the U.S. in voting no on the resolution held in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA), among them Guatemala and fellow Central American country Honduras.

Turkey expressed outrage over the decision, as authorities pointed to Jerusalem as a “red line” for the country.

Ankara responded to the so-called “Deal of the Century” by U.S. President Donald Trump, stating that the people and land of Palestine were not for sale.

Since then, Israel has been trying to convince world countries to transfer their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

European Union member states have refused to move their embassies to Jerusalem pending a final agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians on the issue of the holy city.

Among EU states, only Hungary also has a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.

With the exception of the U.S. and Guatemala, countries worldwide have declined to shift embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, while Kosovo also opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Sunday after it established diplomatic relations with Israel in February.