In a sign of thaw in tensions, Serbia opens trade office in Jerusalem


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In a sign of thaw in tensions, Serbia opens trade office in Jerusalem
Israeli diplomats hope inauguration of innovation center in capital is sign that Belgrade has moved past its anger over Israel recognizing breakaway Kosovo
By Lazar Berman
15 November 2021

In a sign of burgeoning business ties — and a possible rehabilitation of political ties — Serbia inaugurated its innovation and trade office in Jerusalem last week. The move comes after months of Serbian anger after Israel got itself involved in a US effort to broker a bitter dispute in the Balkans and recognized breakaway Kosovo. That saw Belgrade apparently renege on its earlier promise to move its embassy to Jerusalem, and Israeli officials now hope that beginning a better business relationship could also provide diplomatic fruits.

The office, located in Margalit Startup City Jerusalem, is designed to enable the countries to fulfill their bilateral economic potential, Tatjana Matic, Serbia’s minister of trade, tourism and telecommunications, told The Times of Israel during Wednesday’s ceremony. “We have very good bilateral relations with Israel, and we think we need to improve our economic cooperation. We need to go much further. We need more investment, and it is very important to have the office here,” she said, adding that she also saw room for growth in the tourism, cybersecurity and tech fields.