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Serbian President Vucic non-committal on Trump’s Jerusalem embassy comment

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By Luke Hurst
Aleksandar Vucic was asked about whether Serbia will move its embassy to Jerusalem
Aleksandar Vucic was asked about whether Serbia will move its embassy to Jerusalem   -   Copyright  Euronews

Serbian president Aleksander Vucic appeared somewhat taken aback when the US President declared that Serbia had agreed to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

Vucic was at the White House last week to agree to a US-brokered deal normalising economic ties between Serbia and Kosovo.

The talks included Serbia moving its Israeli embassy, and Israel and Kosovo agreeing to mutual recognition.

However when Donald Trump commented on the agreement to move Serbia’s embassy, Vucic appeared confused.

The Trump administration recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, moving its own embassy there in 2018, and Trump has encouraged other countries to follow suit.

It’s controversial because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved, and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their own capital city.

Vucic was in Brussels today alongside his Kosovo’s prime minister Avdullah Hoti as part of the ongoing negotiations between the two sides, and talks on how both countries’ bids to become EU members are progressing.

The EU however opposes countries moving their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem.

EU spokesman Peter Stano said the EU expects aspiring countries to follow its line of foreign policy.

He added that the countries' path to the EU is not undermined, but if they take decisions that would put into question the general position of the EU regarding Jerusalem, it would raise concerns and regrets.

After leaving those talks, Euronews asked Vucic to clarify the situation on the embassy.

He said: “Serbia has not opened that chapter yet. But we are doing our best to align with EU declarations, with EU resolutions as much as it is possible. But we follow our own interests, of course.”