From: Bledar Qalliu
Grenell Attacks Kosovo’s Kurti: An ‘Anti-American’ Who Has ‘Resorted to Terrorism’

Former President Trump Envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell has attacked Kosovo’s Prime Minister-in-waiting Albin Kurti on Tuesday, accusing him of being “anti-American” and having engaged in terrorism.

Grenell alleges in his attack on Twitter that Kurti has “always” been against US policies since President Bill Clinton until today.

He posted an Associated Press article published by Haaertz, which relates Kosovo’s largest party’s stance to reconsider the previous government’s decision to open its Israel embassy in Jerusalem to pressure from Turkey.

It comes after Kurti’s Vetevendosje party stated that  that the location of Kosovo’s embassy in Israel “will be analyzed taking into consideration documents of the outgoing government”, adding that Kosovo’s recognition by Israel and establishment of diplomatic ties is “very important”.

Former Foreign Minister in the Kurti Government, Glauk Konjufca had suggested earlier that reconsideration of the embassy location will depend on the European Union’s stance and pressure on Kosovo regarding the issue.

After the February 14 elections, the leaders of Turkey and Israel have urged Kurti on opposite directions regarding the embassy location.

Later in the day, Grenell posted another article from 5 years ago, this time in Albanian language, which describes the Obama administration’s support for the border delimitation between Kosovo and Montenegro. Back then, Vetevendosje led by Kurti opposed the respective law in parliament, claiming that it gave away Kosovo land to Montenegro. Kurti and other MPs threw tear gas in parliament on the day of vote, in a final attempt to stop the approval of the law. 

The law passed and Kurti and others were later sentenced to probation in 2018 for “using firearms or dangerous devices” and “hindering officials from exercising their duty”. The sentence ultimately banned them from running in the February 2021 elections.

In relation to this issue, the former President Trump envoy alleged that the “anti-American” Kurti “resorted to terrorism”.

Grenell and Kurti had a hard time in their collaboration when the latter was Prime Minister in 2020 over the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. In accordance with the Trump administration’s request, Kurti removed a tax on Serbian goods, but imposed reciprocity in relations with Serbia. This meant that over time Kosovo would treat Serbia the same way Serbia treats Kosovo. The US administration disapproved of the measure and Grenell pushed for it to be repealed but Kurti resisted.

His government was voted out after just over 50 days in power, following a no-confidence motion by coalition ally Democratic League of Kosovo, who cited Kurti’s strained relationship with the Trump administration as a major reason.