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Foreign ministers of Israel and Kosovo strengthen ties with new bilateral agreements

Kosovo is the first Muslim-majority state to open an embassy in Jerusalem a year ago

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid hosts Kosovo's Foreign Minister Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz in Jerusalem, May 9, 2022 (Photo: Shlomi Amsalem/GPO)

One year after Kosovo became the first Muslim-majority state to open an embassy in Jerusalem, it signed a new cooperation deal with the Jewish state on Tuesday. 

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz visited Jerusalem for the first time, where she met with her Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid. The two ministers discussed bilateral ties, aid and the war in Ukraine and signed a series of bilateral agreements in the areas of culture, education, science and film co-production, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said. 

“Today I met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo @gervallaschwarz, who paid her first diplomatic visit to Israel since the establishment of relations between Israel and Kosovo. We have signed agreements for collaborations in the fields of science, education and film production. We continue to strengthen Israel's political ties in the world and create new opportunities,” Yair Lapid tweeted. 

Gërvalla-Schwarz is the highest-level official to visit Israel from Pristina since Kosovo opened its embassy in Jerusalem last March. She also signed a Holocaust education agreement on Monday with Yad Vashem chairman, Dani Dayan.

The two countries will explore the possibility of coordinating Holocaust seminars for educators, exchanging educational materials and encouraging participation in international conferences on Holocaust education.

Israel and Kosovo established diplomatic ties in February 2021 as a result of a U.S.-mediated agreement between Serbia and Kosovo that was initiated by Richard Grenell, Trump's former ambassador to Germany. 

As part of the agreement, Kosovo recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state and Israel became the 117th country to recognize Kosovo’s independence, which was declared in 2008. 

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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