Trump's envoy visits Kosovo to push for new talks with Serbia

By Fats Bytyci PRISTINA, Oct. 9 (Reuters) - A special envoy from US President Donald Trump arrived in Kosovo on Wednesday three days after the election, in a new push to restart talks with Serbia to reach a final agreement that paves The road to Kosovo. Membership in the United Nations. Kosovo, a former province of Serbia, declared its independence in 2008, but this has not been recognized by Belgrade. Both countries have been strongly encouraged by the United States and the EU to normalize their relations with each other. The negotiations stopped abruptly a year ago when Kosovo imposed 100% import tariffs on goods produced in Serbia. Kosovo will soon have a new government after an early parliamentary election on Sunday. Albin Kurti, whose center-left Vetevendosje party won the majority of seats, was mandated to form a government. He said he would revoke the tariffs but impose other measures against Serbia. Kurti, who met with US envoy visiting Richard Grenell at the US embassy, ​​said: The content and the process of reaching an agreement (with Serbia) are more important for the agreement to be sustainable, rather than the Timeline to reach that agreement. Last week, Trump appointed Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, as a special envoy for the talks between Belgrade and Pristina. Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said Grenell's mission showed that Washington was committed to Kosovo. This gives us confidence and confidence in the search for a peace agreement with Serbia, Thaci said in a statement after meeting with the US envoy. The active participation of the United States will be decisive in finding a final solution between Kosovo and Serbia. Grenell will travel to Belgrade to meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Thursday. Last year, Thaci and Vucic pointed out that they could agree to an exchange of land to resolve the territorial claims that the two countries have against each other, but both faced strong opposition to the idea in the country and abroad. The highest court in Kosovo ruled that the talks between the two countries should be led by the prime minister, rather than Thaci. Kurti said he will not support any land exchange, but that he was ready to participate in an EU-mediated negotiation with Belgrade. Serbia lost control of Kosovo after the NATO bombings in 1999 to stop the killings and expulsions of most ethnic Kosovo Albanians by Serbian forces during a counterinsurgency. The United States remains the largest diplomatic and financial support of Kosovo. Kosovo is recognized by more than 110 countries, including the United States, but not by Serbia, Russia or China. Once Belgrade and Pristina reach an agreement, Pristina could request membership in the United Nations, now blocked by Serbia's traditional ally, Russia. (Fatos Bytyci Report Edited by Peter Graff) This story has not been edited by The Times of India and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe. (This story has not been edited by and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe.)