ISTANBUL

Turkey on Sunday urged Kosovo against opening an embassy in Jerusalem, saying doing so would undermine UN resolutions and hurt the Palestinian cause.

“We call on the leadership of Kosovo to abide by these [UN] decisions to refrain from such steps that would undermine the historical and legal status of Jerusalem and may also prevent Kosovo from being recognized by other states in the future,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement cited various UN resolutions stressing that the Palestinian issue can only be solved with an independent, sovereign, and geographically continuous Palestinian state, with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on the pre-1967 borders.

On Saturday, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci tweeted: “I welcome the announcement of Israeli PM [Benjamin] Netanyahu about the genuine intention to recognize Kosovo and establish diplomatic relations. Kosovo will keep its promise to place its diplomatic mission in Jerusalem.”

Also on Twitter, Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti made the same pledge.

Turkey said it was “disappointing” that the majority-Muslim state is considering such a step, which would “constitute a clear violation of international law.”

Turkey, one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo in 2008, has given wholehearted support for Kosovo’s international recognition, the statement added.

“However, we do not find it right to build this process against international law and especially on the suffering of the Palestinian people, whose lands are under occupation,” the statement added.

Turkey’s response came after Serbian and Kosovar leaders met last week in a US-sponsored dialogue in Washington where they reached a historic milestone – agreeing to normalize economic ties.

Serbia and Kosovo signed separate agreements with the US in which Serbia agreed to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Kosovo and Israel also agreed to normalize relations and establish diplomatic ties.

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