Bisenic: Palestine statehood based in the UN, Kosovo is not part of that framework, drawing a parallel between the two is impossible

Dragan Bisenić
Foto: Printscreen, RTV Vojvodina

„The decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem will have an adverse effect for Kosovo, the only question is in what sense. I don’t rule out the possibility that some recognitions will be withdrawn again,“ a journalist and former Serbian ambassador to Egypt, Dragan Bisenic said.

In a guest appearance on the Pravi Ugao talk show on TV Vojvodina, Bisenic talked about the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Washington Agreement which Belgrade and Pristina representatives signed in October last year, one point of which obliges both sides to open their embassies in Jerusalem.

Bisenic says that the Washington Agreement was signed when former US President Donald Trump planned to connect the Middle East conflict with the Balkan conflict – resolving both in one fell swoop.

„What is important now is that, after the Israeli recognition of Kosovo, Serbia moving its embassy to Jerusalem is practically out of the question,“ Bisenic pointed out. He stated that since 2012 Kosovo politicians have been offering to barter – for Kosovo to open an embassy in Jerusalem in exchange for Israel’s recognition.

„Pristina neglected one thing – that is that the issue of Jerusalem is very sensitive and much more important for the Arab and Islamic world than the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel,“ Bisenic said.

He recalled that Egypt established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1979, Jordan in 1993, and four other countries last year, noting that none of these states opened an embassy in Jerusalem. The reason behind this lies in the UN resolution, the former ambassador underlined.

„Because Jerusalem’s status is also regulated by a UN resolution. Resolution 478 from 1980 actually annuls the Israeli law on Jerusalem, which unilaterally declares Jerusalem the indivisible capital of Israel. At that time, the United States abstained during the vote in the Security Council, and with 14 votes in favor, the resolution was adopted, which also recommends that all countries withdraw their embassies from Jerusalem, because embassies were located in Jerusalem until then – and they did it,“ Bisenic points out.

He also reminded that the EU also respects this principle, precisely because it was regulated by the Security Council.

Bisenic emphasized that Pristina’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem was condemned by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League, and other Islamic organizations, adding that they did so at the request of Palestine, which sent a note to all countries.

According to him, Kosovo’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem could have consequences.

„Palestine has called on all Arab, Islamic, and non-Islamic countries to abide by international law and to consider Kosovo’s move in that light. It will have an adverse effect on Kosovo, the only question is in what sense, I don’t rule out that it will be possible for some recognitions to be withdrawn again,“ Bisenic said.

The former ambassador argued that it is not possible to draw a parallel between Kosovo and Palestine when it comes to their status, because Israel and Palestine are states that were founded and based on the UN decision of 1947 – „it is a territory that is divided into two sides“.

„The attempt being made regarding Kosovo is a unilateral action or an endeavor to establish a state outside the rules, outside the UN decisions. Those decisions and important UN resolutions are different, but 1244 refers directly to Kosovo. Therefore, one cannot say that there is any legal analogy between Palestine and Kosovo or between Palestine’s demands for a state,“ he said.

Palestine’s right to a state, Bisenic points out, was defined in 1947.

„Whether it be within the framework of a solution between the two countries, as many European countries – including Serbia, which supports that position, have requested – or in some other form. In any case, as far as the statehood of Palestine is concerned, it is based on the UN system, and Kosovo is not part of that framework,“ Bisenic concluded.

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