Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York on Tuesday. The State Department announced that the secretary of state will host Vucic over a working lunch starting at 12:30 a.m. local time.
Media reports said that the meeting between Vucic and Pompeo would be essential, not just formal in nature, and that the topic would be Kosovo.
The team of the president of Serbia say that he is completely ready for the meeting.
“President Vucic has never prepared as thoroughly as he has for these New York meetings,” Vucic’s team told the daily Blic.
While in New York, the president of Serbia will have other meetings, with Kosovo as the main topic of all of them.
According to what the press has learned, Vucic will seek protection for the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija, but will insist, first and foremost, in talking with Pompeo about the US pressuring the authorities in Pristina to abolish taxes on goods from Serbia.
Vucic will send a clear message to his interlocutor that without this, there will be no return to the negotiating table.
“The president will demand from the greatest power in the world a balanced and fair approach to solving the Kosovo and Metohija crisis. After this visit, things will be much clearer when it comes to looking at the future of Serbia, especially in terms of US policy towards the southern Serbian province (Kosovo),” said the newspaper’s source.
Pompeo sudden invitation to Vucic to visit speaks in favor of a thesis that America is tackling the Kosovo problem and that it wants to play a key role in the process.
Another Belgrade newspaper, Vecernje Novosti, also writes that today’s meeting could signal the beginning of a turnaround in America’s policy toward Belgrade and that Washington is taking the initiative in untangling the Kosovo knot, which could very quickly result in the revoking of Pristina’s taxes and a return to the dialogue.
The meeting, apparently a result of direct diplomacy that has been ongoing for a while between Belgrade and Washington, comes at a time when ever louder messages are coming from the US that the decades-long conflict needs to be brought to an end, the newspaper writes.
While in New York, Pompeo will attend a UN Security Council session dedicated on challenges to peace and security in the Middle East, and is scheduled to meet with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the US State Department said in a in a press release.