US President Trump’s national security advisor Robert O’Brien has stated that Kosovo-Serbia talks at the White House on September 4 will advance peace between the two countries through economic cooperation.
“I look forward to welcoming President Aleksandar 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,” O’Brien tweeted on Wednesday.
The meeting was scheduled for September 2 and then postponed by two days. It follows another meeting that was cancelled after war crime indictments against Kosovo president were published in June.
The agenda for the September 4 meeting has not been revealed but all parties have confirmed that they will include issues of economic cooperation. Letters of intent on railways, airline and highway that were signed earlier could now turn into agreements. An US official that spoke to the Voice of America did not exclude other topics, but stressed that land swaps are out of the table.
Daniel Serwer, a professor with John Hopkins University, argued that Serbia is not ready to accept a deal that would include Kosovo’s independence. He said that the two parties may discuss the ownership of Kosovo’s Trepca mines and Gazivoda lake, but that such a deal would be difficult as it involves Kosovo’s sovereign territory. Serwer added that he would be surprised if they would discuss land swaps although he didn’t exclude such possibility.
Kosovo and Serbia teams will have meetings with US officials in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Hoti and Vucic will meet on Friday.