White House will host Belgrade – Pristina meeting

Robert O’Brien, the United States National Security Advisor, said he was ready to host Serbia’s and Kosovo’s leaders and President Donald Trump’s special envoy for the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalization of relations Richard Grenell, who should meet in Washington on June 27.

Grenell has announced the two delegations would meet at the White House and described it as great news, adding the talks would focus on the economic development. “The meeting at the White House is an opportunity and opens the door to economic development and investments”, the portal quoted the ambassador as saying.  Washington hopes that the political leaders in Serbia and Kosovo will use the opportunity to resume the dialogue and initiate a new era of stability and prosperity. “The people of the region deserve no less than that”, he told. However, Grenell said that if either side were not happy with the talks, they would return to the status quo regarding their relations.    

Pristina welcomed the US initiative, hoping the talks would result in Belgrade’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence. At the same time, Belgrade officials said they wouldn’t allow any decision for the final status of Kosovo to be on the table.

There is opinion that US has become involved in Kosovo issue aiming to score an international victory ahead of Trump’s attempt to win his second term in November. Some analysts believe that the US would not invite the two sides for the meeting if it did not receive assurances that a deal would be made.

Brussels was not delighted with a sudden move by Washington which came on the day when the European Union’s special envoy for the dialogue Miroslav Lajčák was due to Pristina for talks with the leaders there. After the meetings, Lajcak said the EU wants Belgrade and Pristina to resume the dialogue as soon as possible and reach a final agreement to normalize their relations.

Lajčák will visit Belgrade on June 22 and 23, the day after the general elections in Serbia, and will discuss the resume of the dialogue with the officials of Serbia.

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