From: Exit Staff
Grenell: US Removed Recognition from Kosovo-Serbia Deal Because EU Will Cover It on Monday

The EU-facilitated dialogue in Brussels on Monday will include talks on mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia, according to Richard Grenell, President Trump’s envoy for the dialogue. The reason for the Trump administration to take the item of mutual recognition out of the deal signed by Serbia and Kosovo at the White House was the fact that the EU had planned to discuss it in detail a few days later, Grennel has claimed.

In a press conference following the signing of separate documents by the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia, Grenell was asked whether the EU leadership will recognize the Trump administration’s template for success in the conflict at stake.

Grenell replied that for the past ten years, not only Europeans but also Washington has failed to find a solution for the dispute between the two Balkan countries.

He then added that the item of mutual recognition, which Serbian President claimed was 10 in the list of items, and was taken out of the draft-deal after he threatened to abandon the talks, was actually removed because it will be discussed in EU-led talks in Brussels on Monday.

“And let me also just say on the question on this item 10, one of the reasons why we were willing to not talk about it here was because it’s on the agenda Monday in Europe, and we’re trying to team this with the Europeans to say, “What can you do? What can we do to kind of move this forward?” So on Monday, that issue will be dealt with very much in detail in Brussels, and so I felt confident that we could kind of let and work with the Europeans on this issue, and so that’s why it was taken out,” he replied.

Contrary to this statement, one day earlier, Grenell had denied that the Trump administration presented the Serbian president with a draft-document implying recognition of Kosovo.

The leaders of Kosovo and Serbia are scheduled to hold talks in Brussels on Monday, under the auspices of the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell and its envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak.