OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel and Kosovo established diplomatic ties on Monday, with the Muslim-majority territory recognising Jerusalem as the Jewish state's capital, putting it at odds with the rest of the Islamic world.
Israel has since August established ties with a four Arab states under a series of deals brokered by former US president Donald Trump, collectively known as the Abraham Accords.
But the majority-Muslim parties to those accords -- the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan -- have all said their diplomatic missions will be in Tel Aviv, in line with global consensus against recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital until the Palestinian conflict is resolved.
In exchange for setting up its mission in Jerusalem, Kosovo gets recognition from Israel, as it seeks to further legitimise its 2008 declaration of independence from its former war foe Serbia.
Because of coronavirus restrictions, officials on Monday signed joint declarations separately in Jerusalem and Pristina.
Israel's Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said the ceremony marked "the first time in history that diplomatic relationship are being established over Zoom".
He added he had approved Kosovo's "formal request to open an embassy in Jerusalem".
Kosovo's top diplomat, Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla, thanked Israel for becoming the 117th country to recognise its independence, joining much of the Western world.
China, Russia and five European Union members have not granted recognition to Kosovo.
"Kosovo has waited for a very long time to establish diplomatic relations with Israel," Haradinaj-Stublla said.