Kosovo and Serbia leaders set for White House meeting on September 2

US Special Envoy Richard Grenell has announced that a ‘negotiation’ between representatives from Kosovo and Serbia will take place at the White House in September, with Kosovo PM Avdullah Hoti revealing that the meeting will include discussions over “major economic projects.”

Richard Grenell, the US Special Envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue, has announced that a meeting will be held between the “leaders of Kosovo and Serbia” at the White House on September 2.

Tweeting in the early hours of Friday morning, Grenell described the meeting as “a negotiation” and included the Twitter handles of US President Donald Trump and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti welcomed the news through a Facebook post on Friday morning, stating that “the US has always been crucial in Kosovo’s state-building process.” Hoti added that the meeting will be to discuss “major economic projects that will change the economic perspective of Kosovo and the region.” 

A previous meeting at the White House between Kosovo and Serbian leaders was scheduled earlier this year, on June 27. However, the summit was postponed due to the withdrawal of the Kosovo delegation, following the Kosovo Specialist Prosecution’s announcement that a war crimes indictment had been filed against Kosovo President Hashim Thaci. 

The EU-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia then restarted in July with high level meetings between Hoti, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and EU leaders and officials, which were followed by a series of expert level meetings. 

However, the process has been criticised, including by members of Kosovo’s coalition government, with AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj and Justice Minister Selim Selimi dismissing what they describe as a “technical dialogue” and calling for US leadership.

Reacting to news of the September meeting at the White House, Kosovo Ambassador to the US Vlora Citaku, stated that Grenell, O’Brien and the US National Security Agency had just announced “the invitation to the continuation of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.”

Both the US and the EU have insisted that the Euro-Atlantic partners are working collaboratively on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, with Grenell stating in June that the Americans will handle “economic normalisation” while the Europeans will focus on the political aspects.

14/08/2020 - 08:58

14 August 2020 - 08:58

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