The talks between the delegations of Belgrade and Pristina, led by the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister of the Provisional Institutions of Kosovo Avdulah Hoti, continue in Washington today with participation of White House representatives Richard Grenell and Robert O’Brien.
The White House announced that US President Donald Trump will meet today with Aleksandar Vucic and Avdullah Hoti in the Oval Office, attend a signing ceremony and participate in a trilateral meeting. After the meeting at the White House, both Vucic and Hoti will meet separately with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department.
The White House statement, issued late Thursday local time, did not specify what would be signed, whether it was an agreement or what the agreement would contain, Voice of America reported. The meeting will be held at 11 am local time, the White House website announced.
Otherwise, after the first two rounds of talks between Belgrade and Pristina at the White House on Thursday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic ruled out the possibility of recognizing Kosovo as part of these talks and of a possible agreement that could be signed in Washington.
President Aleksandar Vucic did not rule out the possibility of reaching an agreement that would be good for Serbia.
Vucic said that all the details of the document would be presented today, and that unless it was good, he would not even sign it.
Pristina based Klan Kosova TV reported last night that an economic agreement between Belgrade and Pristina is expected to be signed in Washington, which does not include mutual recognition.
A reporter in Washington for the Pristina outlet said that this agreement is expected to be signed before US President Donald Trump.
Yesterday, in the second, afternoon round of talks (local time), US officials were joined by Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the US president, who is otherwise present at all important diplomatic meetings in which her father Donald Trump is especially interested, which in a way indicates that an agreement is more certain.
Earlier, it was reported from Washington that a paper with 16 points was put before the Serbian delegation, and that the 10th point referred to mutual recognition. It unequivocally stated that both sides would be committed to mutual recognition and protection of ethnic minorities.
“Both sides are committed to mutual recognition, protection of ethnic minorities and restitution of property, resolving the status of stateless persons, and agree to open offices in charge of protection and annual reporting on minority rights,” said point 10.
In a statement to the press, President Vucic said that mutual recognition “won’t work” for us.
“No paper is easy for us, but that one was extremely difficult. The first document we had was called ‘economic normalization'” and it had that point about recognition. In the new documents, now the second and third, after our intervention, that point is no longer there,” said Vucic.
“I did not accept mutual recognition, that provision will not be in the further talks,” the president of Serbia said decisively.
US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brian reacted last night after the meeting with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister of so-called Kosovo Avdullah Hoti, held at the White House. He assessed that a very good round of talks was behind them and announced the continuation of talks for the next day.
“A very good round of talks this afternoon with the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo. Today they made real progress. Economy and normalization means jobs for young people. The talks continue tomorrow,” O’Brian said on Twitter.