In forthcoming Serbia-Kosovo talks this Thursday and Friday at the White House, President Trump wants to focus on economic development and “flipping the script”. The U.S. maintains the position that all types of Kosovo land-swap discussions are left to the parties involved. 


 

Special Advisor to President Trump, familiar with the details of the forthcoming Serbia-Kosovo talks on Thursday and Friday at the White House, 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 told the Pavlovic Today. 

“ 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 added. 

“What President Trump wanted to do was to see if a focus on economic development and job creation for young people could somehow change the dynamic of the situation. For the last, you know, more than a year, we have been solely focused on economic normalization, trying to find a way to move the parties into putting the political issues aside to create momentum around economic issues”, he said. 

President Trump’s attendance to the Serbia-Kosovo meetings later this week at the White House has not been confirmed. 

“He [President Trump] has already participated in terms of our side and what we can kind of push forward and how we prioritize these economic projects. But at the end of the day, I think the parties need to be able to make progress in order for the United States to continue utilizing these mechanisms in such a powerful way,” Special Advisor to President Trump added. 

The fact that President Trump asked Richard Grenell to lead the talks is “really a testament to the fact that we do believe that a concentration on the economic development side would produce progress, but we still need to test that theory,” he said.

According to the Special Advisor to the president, the win-win scenario that Ambassador Grenell and President Trump are going for has the potential to be considered great success, focusing on “economic development.” 

“We’ve been very successful so far, even though the media hasn’t really focused on the historic three agreements that we’ve made around economic normalization, one of which is the first flight between Pristina and Belgrade in 21 years. We have an agreement on that. It has not been implemented. The flight has not taken place. We’re not there yet to open it up to travel and commerce. But the agreement is there,” Special Advisor to the President remarked. 

In a recent, exclusive interview for the Pavlovic Today, Serbian President Vucic said that Kosovo Albanians were not in a rush to implement the achieved flight agreements. 

The Trump administration is aware of this problem, given that the Kosovo government is in transition and there is a global COVID-19 pandemic. “We are solely focused on implementing the air, rail, and motor agreements that we’ve already agreed on. Those agreements really are going to allow us to build economic development,” Special Adviser to the President said. 

Where the previous administration failed to resolve a historic problem, the Trump administration wants to apply non-linear thinking, and they invite the media to do so as well. “Trump wants to flip the script,” said the Special Advisor to the President. 

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...