Kosovo and Israel agree to allow each other's citizens visa-free entry

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Citizens of Kosovo and Israel will be able to visit the other nation without a visa following an agreement between the two governments signed Tuesday, the Kosovar Foreign Ministry said.

The visa waiver agreement was signed in the Kosovar capital, Pristina, by visiting Israeli Interior Minister Moshe Arbel and Kosovar Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla.

Gervalla said the agreement will “open a new chapter in promoting our country, our cooperation and economic development, youngsters’ educational development and the implementation of joint initiatives and projects between our citizens and our countries in the future.”

The visa waiver will go into effect in September. No details on the length of stay were given.

This year Kosovars can also enjoy visa-free stays of up to 90 days -– within six months -– in any of the 27 Schengen-area member states in Europe.

Kosovo and Israel formally established diplomatic ties in February 2021. Israel is the 117th country to recognize Kosovo.

Kosovo’s independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after a U.S.-led 78-day NATO airstrike campaign against Serbia to stop a bloody crackdown against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, is recognized by most Western nations, but not by Serbia and its allies Russia and China.

The government of former U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and moved the U.S. Embassy there in May 2018.

Kosovo was the first European country, and the first country with a Muslim majority, to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, following the U.S. and Guatemala. An opening ceremony was held in March 2021.


Semini reported from Tirana, Albania.


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