From: Exit Staff
Kosovo, Serbia Not Prepared for White House Deal, Says Former US Official

Kosovo and Serbia are not prepared to reach an agreement at the White House at the September 2 meeting, says former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman.

Speaking to REL/RFE, Countryman said that expectations for the meeting should be kept low. The most it could achieve is pushing both leaders to engage more in the EU-led Brussels dialogue.

He added that Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic are not prepared and do not have the will to reach an agreement at the While House. Hoti wouldn’t be able to get the parliament’s approval even if he could sign a deal, he said, while stressing the erosion of rule of law in Serbia.

The priority for the Trump administration is the president’s reelection, Countryman claimed, and the Kosovo-Serbia meeting is just an attempt to present a successful meeting after three and a half years of “zero success in foreign policy”.

The former official doesn’t see a rivalry between the US and EU in leading the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, but a lack of coordination. He said that a successful deal can only be reached in the long term and with US-EU collaboration.