On September 2, the Trump administration will bring the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo to the White House for what Richard Grenell is billing as “negotiations”
Special envoy to Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations Richard Grenell took to Twitter today, making the announcement, “We are happy to announce that the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia will meet at the White House for negotiation on September 2. @realDonaldTrump @robertcobrien @WHNSC”.
President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci tweeted, “I welcome the announced meeting at the White House on negotiations between #Kosovo and #Serbia. We are grateful to the #US for the tremendous dedication to peace & stability in the region” in response to the announcement.
The Trump administration attempted to meet with both leaders earlier this year, but the meeting was canceled after President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci was indicted for war crime charges. If the September meeting follows suit with the previous attempt at negotiations earlier this year, the foreign leaders and the Trump administration will remain focused on the economy.
The Pavlovic Today’s Ksenija Pavlovic-McAteer recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. President Vucic praised the White House for their willingness to understand the situation in Serbia, stating, “I cannot say that Grenell agreed with all our suggestions, but at least we were able to present our ideas and plans and not forced to only talk in a way that only fulfills American interest. That is why I am grateful to President Trump and his people.”
He went on to praise an earlier meeting he had with members of the Trump administration, stating, “the meeting that we had at the White House with Robert O’Brian, Jared Kushner, and Richard Grenell, was excellent. I was able to hear a lot of things from them, but these people, who are the most powerful in the world, were listening to me for an hour and a half. For the first time, I talked about everything that is actually happening to Serbs and Serbia in a non-bureaucratic atmosphere where you usually write reports and official memos and nothing else. I am very happy that a conversation like that was possible.”
President Vucic’s praise of the Trump administration’s ability to truly listen to Serbian needs without an ongoing need to fulfill American interests predicts a likely positive conversation between the U.S., Serbia, and Kosovo next month.
“Ambassador Grenell had positive ideas about the economy. He was able to get into the details of our problem within a day or two, very quickly. For us, the Serbs, his response awakened a sense of hope that we could talk about ordinary and normal things… you cannot reach a solution overnight because you will never create a good atmosphere through that approach, especially not by pressuring only one side. Grenell understood that very well,” Vucic told Pavlovic-McAteer.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden recently criticized Grenell and the Trump administration for “failing to realize that the Trump administration had mishandled the situation by not collaborating with the EU.” Biden promised to push for a Kosovo peace deal if he becomes president.
When Pavlovic-McAteer asked President Vucic about Biden’s possible role in the future concerning Serbia and Kosovo, he said, “I think that Biden understands the situation in Kosovo and Metohija. He knows it very well. I believe there is one other reason, and that is that Biden, whom I know well and have met with three or four times, has his own agenda. He has participated in everything that happened in Kosovo and that is their political legacy. They want their policies to be fully, and completely implemented in the same way it was done in the past with Madeleine Albright and all others.”
Sign up for The Pavlovic Today Newsletter featuring news, scoops, exclusive interviews and expert analysis