After decades of conflict between the two countries, under the mediation and supervision of the Trump administration, Kosovo and Serbia signed an agreement on Sept. 4, to normalize economic relations. The pact also includes a commitment of recognition by Kosovo to Israel and the transfer of the Serbian Embassy to Jerusalem.
The Belgrade-Pristina agreement was signed by its two leaders, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti, with President Trump witnessing the event in the White House Oval Office.
According to Fox News, Trump administration officials had met with the two leaders on Thursday to encourage them to put aside their political differences to develop social and economic ties that will allow the two countries to live together peacefully and enhance each other’s productivity.
Kosovo managed to declare itself independent from Serbia in 2008, nine years after NATO campaigned hard against Serbia in a bid to overthrow the leaders who were keeping alive the violent persecution of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
In a White House press release, President Trump announced, “Serbia and Kosovo have each committed to economic normalization. After a violent and tragic history and years of failed negotiations, my Administration proposed a new way of bridging the divide. By focusing on job creation and economic growth, the two countries were able to reach a real breakthrough on economic cooperation across a broad range of issues.”
He went on to say, “We have also made additional progress on reaching peace in the Middle East. Kosovo and Israel have agreed to normalization of ties and the establishment of diplomatic relations. Serbia has committed to move its embassy to Jerusalem by July.”
President Trump celebrated the big step toward Middle East peace on his Twitter account: “Another great day for peace with Middle East—Muslim-majority Kosovo and Israel have agreed to normalize ties and establish diplomatic relations. Well-done! More Islamic and Arab nations will follow soon!”
Another great day for peace with Middle East – Muslim-majority Kosovo and Israel have agreed to normalize ties and establish diplomatic relations. Well-done! More Islamic and Arab nations will follow soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020
The agreement signed today came just two weeks after President Trump along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Arab Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates, agreed to a historic peace accord.
The pact between Israel and the UAE meant that, after 49 years, they would normalize diplomatic relations, exchange embassies and ambassadors, and begin cooperation in all fields and a wide range of areas, including tourism, education, health care, trade, and security according to media reports at the time, including ABCNews.
On both occasions President Trump served as a negotiator between the parties involved in the conflict, generating a dialogue that made it possible to reach agreements and begin the first stage of a new relationship aimed at healing the wounds of the past and thinking in terms of cooperation towards the future.