From: Exit Staff
Kosovo-Serbia White House Meeting Is Part of the Trump Campaign, Says Opposition Leader Kurti

Kosovo opposition leader Albin Kurti has drawn a direct connection between the Trump presidential campaign and the announcement for a White House meeting between Kosovo and Serbia leaders on September 2.

In his reaction following the meeting announcement on Friday by President Trump envoy Richard Grenell, Kurti stated that the “[Trump-Biden] campaign is intensifying without having officially started yet”, and that the announced “September 2 negotiation” should be viewed under this light.

“Richard Grenell, would love a last-minute success in foreign policy,” he added. 

The leader of the largest party in Kosovo recalled how Grenell criticized Biden on Thursday for allegedly planning to take over responsibility for world problems, and the next day Grenell himself announced “negotiations” to solve the dispute between Kosovo and Serbia.

The former prime minister, who had stated earlier that Grenell’s pressure on his government helped its demise, also stressed the U.S. envoy’s alleged inconsequent statement regarding a land swap plan.

“We want to make clear there is no secret plan for land swaps between Kosovo and Serbia, as some have speculated. Special Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell has never seen nor discussed such a plan,” Grenell stated first. 

Less than three months later, however, Grenell revealed that land swap had actually been discussed and the Trump administration was aware of it. Land swap was “not Trump’s policy but when you dig deep both sides say ‘well, that’s what John Bolton said,’” Grenell told Fox News in June 2020.

In July, former US President national security advisor John Bolton revealed that Kosovo and Serbia leaders had discussed land swap as an option for a deal as early as 2018, and that he thought it was worth the effort.

Kurti further criticized Grenell for putting pressure exclusively on Kosovo, and none on Serbia. 

“Grenell is riding the Kosovo-Serbia dispute like a finance and media cowboy who doesn’t care about the history of Albanians and Kosovo’s suffering and losses,” he wrote.

Kurti also noted how Grenell is not talking about “dialogue” anymore, but about “negotiations”, which imply a “compromise”. He added that Kosovo has already sacrificed too much, and that “neither justice, nor any benefits” could be expected from such an approach.

He concluded that Kosovo and Serbia should engage in dialogue as “neighboring countries, based on the principle of reciprocity, and after proper preparations and with full transparency.”

The Vetevendosje party leader stressed that the Kosovo government is failing in fighting the coronavirus, organized crime and corruption, and in advancing economic and social development policies.

He stated that the government has no legitimacy, credibility, authority or competence to attend the White House meeting.

“Consequently, their agreements are unenforceable, and not even worth the price of the paper on which they would be written,” Kurti concluded.