Representatives of diplomatic circles comment for the Belgrade based daily Danas that it is no surprise that US career diplomat Philip Reeker will replace Wess Mitchell, acting Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia.
Interlocutors of Danas argue that America has firmly resolved to “push” the whole process of resolving the Kosovo issue, as well as seeking someone like the late Richard Holbrooke, known for his involvement in the Balkans, including Kosovo, in the 1990s.
“Although the administration of US President Donald Trump is preoccupied with internal problems and the situation in Venezuela, the United States will strive hard for Belgrade and Pristina to reach an agreement on Kosovo by the end of the year. According to the view of the Americans, the agreement should include mutual recognition and minimal border correction. It is possible, however, that Kosovo gets some villages from the Presevo and Bujanovac municipalities, with the majority Albanian population, such as Veliki Trnovac, but excludes the possibility of the city of Bujanovac to belong to the Kosovo side. The Serbian side is asking more territories than Kosovo would get, but the United States does not want Serbia to get the whole of north Kosovo,” sources said.
Diplomats point out that Reeker can play a very important role in the coming months, especially by holding a “shuttle diplomacy” between Belgrade and Pristina.
According to the findings of this daily, Tramp believes that further engagement of US in Kosovo would be a “waste of resources,” and “there is no much patience when it comes to resolving the Kosovo issue, so he wants to end everything by the end of the year,” which he also made clear in a letter sent to Vucic and Thaci.
In that context, the possibility is mentioned of the United States to initiate the organization of a conference, like the ’95 Dayton Conference, in which “after a multi-day or several-week negotiation in an isolated area, a legally binding agreement between Belgrade and Pristina is signed”. Possible locations for such a gathering are Vienna or Paris.
In some diplomatic circles in the West, writes the daily, it is speculated that NATO is planning to build a military base, “bigger than Bondsteel” after Belgrade and Pristina reach an agreement, on the territory of Leposavic, where Turkey will have the “main word”. KFOR spokesman Vincenzo Grasso, however, denies such claims to Danas daily.
– NATO has no information about the establishment of a new military base in Leposavic. There is already a KFOR base in the area, called the Noting Hill Camp, permanently used by KFOR soldiers, and NATO has no plans to change or expand that base, Grasso said.