EU warns Serbia over moving its embassy to Jerusalem

EU says it is committed to "two state solution" and expects prospective members such as Serbia to align with its foreign policy positions.

Elad Benari ,

Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia
iStock

The EU on Monday voiced "serious concern and regret" over Belgrade's commitment to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, casting a shadow over the resumption of Serbia-Kosovo talks, AFP reports.

President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti met in Brussels for a second round of EU-brokered face-to-face talks to resolve disputes two decades after their war.

The meeting followed a high-profile summit at the White House on Friday where Vucic and Hoti signed statements agreeing measures to improve economic relations -- and in Serbia's case pledging to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Kosovo has also agreed to recognize Israel as part of the agreement.

The EU said it is still committed to the "two state solution" and expects prospective members such as Serbia to align with its foreign policy positions.

"In this context any diplomatic steps that could call into question the EU's common position on Jerusalem are a matter of serious concern and regret," EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano told reporters in Brussels, according to AFP.

MK Sharren Haskel, a member of the Israeli parliamentary foreign affairs committee said the "EU attempts at educating Serbia and Kosovo are shocking," and accused the bloc "of repeatedly criticizing the state of Israel and calling into question" its very existence.

"I ask other countries ... to move their embassies to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people," she added.

Serbia and Kosovo’s move has been met with criticism by the Palestinian Authority. On Sunday, chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat threatened that the PA will sever ties with "any country that will move or open its embassy to Jerusalem".

On Saturday, the PA “foreign ministry” condemned the intention of Kosovo and Serbia to open embassies in Jerusalem, saying doing so is "blatant and unjustified aggression against the Palestinian people and their issue."



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