US Special Envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, Richard Grenell once again denied talking to anyone about the land swap idea.
The US official’s reaction arrived after an online press conference with international media representatives, hosted by Vienna’s PresseClub Concordia, which was also attended by the outgoing Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti.
“There has been absolutely no talk of land swaps from me – and it’s never been discussed by anyone else in my presence. We have said this many times,” Grenell said in response to a Bosnian analyst and journalist, Jasmin Mujatovic, who briefly described on Twitter what Kurti talked about at the conference.
In one of his Twitter posts, Mujanovic said that “the land swap talk began already during the tenure of Federica Mogherini, and was being directly handled by Vucic’s and Thaci’s offices. Grenell picked up this idea and has continued to pressure Kurti’s bloc to acquiesce to what he (Kurti) thinks is a reckless quick fix.”
Mujatovic also quoted Kurti as saying that the collapse of his government was a veritable „coup,“ and that Grenell was intimately involved in this process.
“(Kurti) says that Grenell wants a rushed deal with Serbia that will involve territory exchange,” Mujatovic added.
A secret agreement between Belgrade and Pristina on delimitation, border correction or land swap has been greatly discussed during the recent years – and the talks only intensified ever since Albin Kurti came into office.
Kurti has repeatedly claimed that a „land swap“ plan is hiding behind the request of Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci, for a state of emergency to be declared in Kosovo. Kurti also said that the implementation of such an agreement requires „incidents and bloodshed in the field“.
Trump’s envoys for the Kosovo dialogue, Richard Grenell, Matthew Palmer and US Ambassador to Pristina – Philip Kosnett recently said in a joint statement that there is no secret plan for a land swap between Kosovo and Serbia, and that „US Special Envoy Richard Grenell has never seen or discussed such a plan.“
The EU Special Envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak recently stated that he has never heard or seen a „secret land swap agreement“. He added that he did not want to speculate, that he is led by facts and focused on future dialogue.
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