JERUSALEM — Israel's Minister of Regional Cooperation Ofir Akunis this week became the nation’s first cabinet minister and highest-ranking official to visit the newly-opened Embassy of Kosovo in Jerusalem.
Kosovo is the first Muslim-majority country to open an embassy in the Israeli capital.
It is the third country overall to open its embassy in Jerusalem after the United States and Guatemala.
“I'm proud and excited to be the first Israeli minister to visit the Embassy of Kosovo in our eternal capital Jerusalem,” said Akunis after his visit on Monday.
“I was glad to be hosted by their first diplomat in our country, Ines Demiri,” he added. “I conveyed the appreciation of the people of Israel for the courageous decision made by the government in Kosovo, despite external pressures, to keep their promise and open their embassy here in Jerusalem.”
Ines Demiri, the Chargé D'affaires of Kosovo in Jerusalem, said, “I am honored by the visit of His Excellency Ofir Akunis – Israel’s minister of Regional Cooperation – to the Embassy of Kosovo in Jerusalem. I had a fruitful discussion with Mr. Akunis and I am looking forward on deepening our cooperations in the field of tourism, innovation, science and technology and many other relevant fields for the mutual benefit of our countries.”
Kosovo is a Muslim-majority nation, though not an ethnically Arab one.
Its decision to normalize relations with Israel – a deal brokered by former U.S. President Donald Trump and his team – was a courageous one.
The big question now: Which Muslim nation will be next both to normalize relations and establish its embassy in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem?
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.