Today at 10 AM, Serbian President Vucic and PM Hoti are expected to arrive at the White House for Serbia-Kosovo talks. Here's what has been driving this morning in D.C. ahead of the summit. 

Ahead of today’s historic talks between Serbs and Kosovo Albanians at the White House, Special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations Richard Grenell went to Twitter to invite both sides to ‘create a vibrant economy’ and ‘put politics aside’. 

Grenell stipulates Trump’s administration approach in ‘flipping the script’ when it comes to the Western Balkans, with a focus on the young people, careers, and forging their connection to the West.

“The people of Kosovo and Serbia deserve economic normalization and the chance to create a vibrant economy. Today I am focused on the young people who want a career, a good job, and a connection to the West. 

I’ve heard from you. And I will push hard for you. Let’s put politics aside!”, said Grenell.

Yesterday, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien stated that he is looking forward to welcoming President Vucic and PM Hoti to the White House in an attempt to advance peace through economic cooperation. 

 “I look forward to welcoming @predsednikrs Vucic and Prime Minister @Avdullah Hoti to the White House tomorrow. These important discussions will advance peace through economic cooperation. Both leaders’ commitment to dialogue will benefit #Serbia and #Kosovo.,” stated O’ Brian.

Special Advisor to President Trump, familiar with the details of the today’s Serbia-Kosovo talks, told the Pavlovic Today that the Trump administration did not and does not plan to discuss Kosovo land-swaps, stating, “We, the United States, leave all of those types of discussion to the parties.”

He gave his insight into any possibility of land-swap conversation, insisting that Ambassador Richard Grenell was “never privy to such conversation”.

“That’s not something that he would remotely discuss. He wouldn’t discuss it. It’s not part of our economic development discussions,” Special Advisor to the President insisted. 

“I don’t know how clear I need to be, but I’ve never been around those discussions in any of my conversations. It’s solely been economic, and that’s what we’re concentrating on, economic normalization”, he concluded. 

Earlier this year, in January, the Trump administration led by Richard Grenell, President Trump’s special envoy for Kosovo, placed the brokerage of a lasting solution between Serbs and Albanians at the top of their foreign policy agenda. They reached a deal resuming commercial flights between Belgrade and Pristina for the first time in over two decades but it has not been implemented so far. Many political state actors and foreign policy experts consider this a positive step toward a détente between the Serbs and Albanians. 

Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...