US, Kosovo, Serbia Nobel Peace nominees for White House deal

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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A Swedish lawmaker said Friday that he has nominated the governments of the United States., Kosovo and Serbia for the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to secure a peace agreement between the two former Balkan war foes.

Swedish parliament member Magnus Jacobsson tweeted that he nominated the three governments “for their joint work for peace and economic development, through the cooperation agreement signed in the White House. Trade and communications are important building blocks for peace.”


Serbian President Aleksander Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti signed an economic normalization deal at the White House last week that also calls for Belgrade to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and for mutual recognition by Israel and Kosovo.



Kosovo, a former Serbian province, and Serbia have been negotiating under European Union mediation since 2011 on normalizing their ties. Serbia fought a brutal 1998-1999 war with separatist fighters in Kosovo. The war ended after NATO conducted a 78-day airstrike campaign against Serbia,

Kosovo was run by the United Nations for nine years before it declared independence in 2008. Most western nations recognize Kosovo’s statehood, but not Serbia.


Richard Grenell, U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia talks, retweeted Jacobsson saying that Trump was “nominated for a second Nobel Peace Prize for historic Kosovo-Serbia agreement.”

A Norwegian lawmaker, Christian Tybring-Gjedde, on Wednesday nominated Trump for the 2021 peace prize for the president’s work “for a peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel

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Grenell excoriates White House press corps over coverage of historic Kosovo and Serbia agreement

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell castigated the White House press corps for a perceived lack of interest in Friday’s news that Serbia agreed to become the third country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“This is atrocious … You might be too young to understand what this issue is about,” Grenell said during a White House press conference that was intended to address the news that Serbia and Kosovo had agreed to a historic agreement to normalize relations. “Maybe the older journalists should step up and say, ‘This is a big deal.’ … I am astounded about what happens in D.C. and especially [in the White House Briefing].”

Grenell, who serves as the special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations, added that the issue is “substantive, maybe it’s too complicated of an issue for you all.”

Grenell continued: “You guys don’t understand what’s happening outside of Washington, D.C., people aren’t listening to you anymore. It’s really a crisis in journalism, and I think it’s because people are too young to understand issues like Kosovo and Serbia.”

Grenell was widely criticized by many left-leaning journalists, who took issue with his critique of the media, and the former ambassador to Germany responded to some of those criticisms on Twitter.

“I’m not paid,” Grenell tweeted in response to Vox’s Aaron Rupar. “You get this advice for FREE! You are welcome.”

The agreed upon deal normalizes relations between Kosovo, a majority Muslim region that declared independence in 2008, and Serbia in every area from air and rail to the opening of borders, according to Fox News.

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Serbia, Kosovo sign economic pact at White House

Former foes Kosovo and Serbia have agreed on a historic pact to normalize economic relations, US President Donald Trump announced Friday at the White House.

And in a fresh diplomatic success for the US leader, both Kosovo and Serbia also agreed to improve their relations with Israel — Kosovo will formally recognize the Jewish state and Serbia will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

“A truly historic day,” Trump said, with Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic sitting beside him in the Oval Office.

“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.”

Trump praised his special emissary Richard Grenell for bringing the two sides together, two decades after they fought a bloody war that left 13,000 dead. 

“It took decades because you didn’t have anybody trying to get it done,” Trump said of the agreement.

“There was a lot of fighting and now there’s a lot of love,” he said. “Economics can bring people together.”

Speaking to reporters in the White House, Vucic said Trump had done a “great job,” praising his commitment to the Balkan region, while Hoti called it a big step forward — though neither Serbia nor its former territory formally recognize the other.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci hailed the agreement in a statement, praising Trump for advancing the cause “of peace, economic development and Euro-Atlantic future.”

Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, “must now continue to work for membership in international organizations and for new recognitions, for our country to be fully consolidated domestically and internationally,” he wrote.

Details of the agreement were not immediately available, but it was expected to be limited to the normalization of some economic ties, easing commerce and opening up road, rail and air links between the former Balkan war foes.

The talks included representatives of major US economic aid agencies including the Export-Import Bank, suggesting US financial support was involved in bringing the two sides together.

The European Union has brokered talks for nearly a decade to thaw the bitter relationship between Serbia and its former territory, but many of the agreements they set have not been implemented.

An effort focused on business and commerce was launched more recently by US officials.

But Serbia made clear during the talks that it would not go as far as recognizing Kosovo as a fully-fledged state.

The Kosovo-Serbia pact, and their agreements to improve relations with Israel, added to Trump’s recent record of diplomatic successes.

Last month, Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced they would normalize relations after US-brokered negotiations.  

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Serbia, Kosovo Expected To Sign Pact At White House

Serbia and Kosovo are expected to sign an agreement on opening economic relations at the White House Friday, giving President Donald Trump the opportunity to claim a new diplomatic victory for his administration.

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic are scheduled to sign the pact at 11:00 am (1500 GMT) with Trump in attendance after a day of negotiations in Washington on Thursday, according to the White House.

The agreement is expected to be limited to the normalization of some economic ties, including possibly opening up road, rail and air links between the former Balkan war foes.

Although the European Union has been trying without success for nearly a decade to thaw a bitter relationship between Serbia and its former territory, which declared independence in 2008, an effort focused on business and commerce was launched more recently by US officials.

But Serbia made clear during the talks that they would not go as far as recognizing Kosovo as a fully-fledged state.

White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said late Thursday that the two sides had “made real progress today.”

Newly elected Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti (L) and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (R) are expected to sign agreements on opening economic relations after a day of talks in Washington Newly elected Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti (L) and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (R) are expected to sign agreements on opening economic relations after a day of talks in Washington Photo: AFP / Armend NIMANI

“Economic normalization means jobs for young people,” he said.

Hoti said Thursday they had made “great progress” on improving economic cooperation.

Vucic insisted that he would not accept anything that included recognizing Kosovo.

“We thought it should not be in a document about economic normalization, that we couldn’t accept it. People from the Trump cabinet listened (to) what we had to say, they were fair and I believe that in other documents that article is no longer there,” he said.

The two countries remain bitter over a bloody war fought two decades ago, in which 13,000 died.

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