US special envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue Richard Grenell has claimed that the idea of a land-swap between Kosovo and Serbia was never President Trump’s policy.
Grenell appeared on Fox News to speak on former American National Security Advisor John Bolton and claimed that Bolton’s foreign policy stances were always in opposition to those of US President Trump.
He took the opportunity to announce a “historical agreement” expected on June 27 at the White House between Kosovo and Serbia, in contrast to his previous statement that this meeting will only focus on economic issues, and it will be part of the first phase toward a possible final agreement in the future that will be facilitated by the European Union.
Grenell denied that the idea of territorial exchange between Kosovo and Serbia was supported by Trump. He blamed the ‘rumors’ of a land-swap on “what John Bolton said.” He claimed Bolton was following his own policy, in pushing for a land-swap, instead of Trump’s policy.
“When it comes to Kosovo and Serbia we are both of those two together at the White House next Saturday to talk about a historic movement and agreement, and yet I’m fighting constantly about this rumor about land swaps between the two, and that’s not Trump’s policy but when you dig deep both sides say ‘well, that’s what John Bolton said.’ And so, I’m fighting all of the rumors that persisted because Bolton was pursuing his own policy rather than President Trump’s policy,” Grenell told Fox News.
His statement today contradicts his earlier claim that he was never aware of any plan for land swap between Kosovo and Serbia.
By associating the idea of territorial exchange, a controversial one both within Kosovo and internationally, with the ousted John Bolton, Grenell seems to be implying that the option of a land-swap at some point was actually discussed by the Trump administration but it’s no longer on the table.