The agreement signed at the White House, praised by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, will eventually prove to be another political debacle as Israel has recognized Kosovo’s independence, and Serbia will have to move its embassy to Jerusalem, thus entering into conflict with the European Union’s foreign policy.
The agreement that Belgrade and Pristina signed in Washington implies, among other things, the re-location of the Serbian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Thus, after America and Guatemala, Serbia will become the third country in the world and the first in Europe to make such a decision. This is in direct contradiction to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, which calls on all UN member states to withdraw their embassies from Jerusalem. It is also against the EU foreign policy.
After the signing, Aleksandar Vučić said:
“Our people thought that we are under obligation to invite Israel to recognize an independent Kosovo. We said we can’t do it because it goes against our strategy. We have decided on two agreements, if Israel and Pristina reach an agreement between themselves, we will not meddle. At the same time, we told Israel that if it respected Serbia, we would relocate our Embassy to Jerusalem in a year. So, in our document with the US administration, we have put what we can do. We respect Israel, but we are not going to meddle into what Pristina has signed with the Americans and Israel”.
Later, Vučić’s media advisor, Suzana Vasiljević, said that relocating the embassy to Jerusalem was not a final decision and that Serbia had not signed it.
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In the meantime, the Serbian authorities expected Israel to renounce the recognition which however did not take place, as confirmed by the Israeli Ambassador to Serbia, Yahel Vilan.
“There is no doubt whether Israel will recognize Kosovo or not, because Israel already recognized Kosovo on 4 September; now we must see how not to allow this to affect relations between Serbia and Israel,” said the Ambassador.
“Israel didn’t sign anything in Washington, we weren’t part of that summit. The Kosovo Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti and the United States signed the agreement. Our Prime Minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) welcomed the mutual recognition of Israel and Kosovo, ” he added.
Dušan Janjić of the Forum for Ethnic Relations states that the right invoked by Vučić does not exist on paper.
“We can say that it is a verbal agreement, but it cannot be verified anywhere. Vučić actually used this argument to pacify public opinion in Serbia, which was not too enthusiastic about the agreement; there is generally a lack of awareness of the Middle East, of relations between Israel and Palestine, and of the importance of this move by Serbia. In this way, Serbia has effectively become one of the partners of the United States in the big game around Israel, has therefore sided with NATO and has gone from political neutrality to fighting on their side, “Janjic said, adding that the Embassy, in whatever form, will have to be relocated to Jerusalem, regardless of Israeli recognition of Kosovo.
This post is also available in: Italiano