Serbia and Kosovo have agreed to normalize economic relations, following U.S.-brokered talks that include Serbia moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and Kosovo formally recognizing Israel.
U.S. President Donald Trump made the announcement Friday, after meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in the Oval Office earlier in the day.“It took decades because you didn’t have anybody trying to get it done,” said Trump. “There was a lot of fighting and now there’s a lot of love.”
Additionally, the president said in a statement, “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.”
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, but the latter has refused to recognize it. Kosovo’s independence also is not recognized by Russia or China.
Serbian President Vucic said Friday President Trump has done a “great job,” praising his commitment to the region and inviting the U.S. leader to visit his country.
Kosovan Prime Minister Hoti called the agreement to normalize economic ties a big step forward.
After the meeting Friday at the White House, Hoti and Vucic are scheduled to meet separately with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department.Kosovo’s independence has been recognized by more than 100 members of the United Nations, including the United States, and most of the European Union member states, except for Slovakia, Cyprus, Greece, Romania and Spain.VOA White House Bureau chief Steve Herman contributed to this report.