International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Daniel Serwer: Grenell will take over the main role and push for demarcation

October 5, 2019

The proposed White House Special Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo, Richard Grenell, will take over a dominant role in the US approach to the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo instead of the US State Department Special Representative Matthew Palmer, according to John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Professor Daniel Serwer.

In an interview with Voice of America and on his blog, Serwer called the decision to name Grenell “bizarre”.

“Only a few weeks ago they named Matthew Palmer the Special Representative for the Balkans. Mr Grenell is ranked hogher than Palmer for two reasons - he is an ambassador and he has direct contact with the White House. And to me it is completely clear that they are planning for him to take over the main role of a special representative in the Balkans - to deal with the issue of Belgrade and Pristina,” Serwer said.

“It is truly bizarre,” he stressed.

Serwer said he believes that the appointment might be an attempt to push for the idea of a territorial swap between Belgrade and Pristina, “which is a terrible idea that died by itself a few months ago, and it is a bad plan to try to bring it back.”

Serwer said that Grenell became a special envoy for ‘peace’ talks, while Serbia and Kosovo were until now having talks on ‘normalising relations’, but that the different terminology is not that important.

“Honestly, I think that nobody in the White House understands the difference between peace talks and talks on normalisation. That is a semantic difference, but these people don’t care about that. I don’t read too much into it, there has been peace since the end of the war in 1999,” he said.

Source: http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a531910/Daniel-Serwer-Grenell-will-take-over-the-main-role-and-push-for-demarcation.html

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