European Western Balkans
Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue

Kurti accuses Grenell of discussing the exchange of territories; Grenell denies

Albin Kurti; Photo: Flickr / UPF International

PRISTINA – Kosovo caretaker Prime Minister Albin Kurti called the no-confidence motion against his government a “coup”, claiming that US Special Envoy Richard Grenell, who also sought an agreement on exchange of territories, was “closely involved”, reports Beta. Grenell once again denied that there had been any mentions of the exchange of territories in the Belgrade-Pristina talks in which he participated.

During an online conference with several international media hosted by Presseclub Concordia, based in Vienna, Kurti stated that “Grenell is seeking an urgent agreement with Serbia that would include the exchange of territories” and added that “Grenell hijacked the whole dialogue process”, while, according to Kurti, any agreement with Serbia should be confirmed by the people of Kosovo.

Grenell again denied today that there had been any mentions of exchanging territories in the Belgrade-Pristina talks in which he participated. “There was absolutely no talk of exchanging territory on my part, and no one else had ever discussed it in my presence. We have said this many times,” Grenel wrote on Twitter in response to Kurti’s statement.

Kurti said that talks on the exchange of territories had begun at the offices of the presidents of Kosovo and Serbia at a time when EU High Representative Federica Mogherini was mediating on behalf of the EU, and that “Grenell took the idea and continued to pressure the Kurti-led bloc to relent and accepted that solution”.

Kurti told the international media very clearly that he wanted an agreement with Serbia “but without geographical maps”.

He emphasized that Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi was “working to overthrow his government” and added that “Thaçi wanted to introduce a state of emergency, to bring the army into the streets, induce incidents and consequently pave a way for an urgent agreement for the exchange of territories, which would lack democratic control”.

“President Thaçi wants an urgent agreement with Serbia in order to avoid prison in Kosovo or abroad. Serbia wants to enter the EU, while Grenell only cares about signing the last page, not the content of the agreement,” Kurti said.

He reiterated that he is against territorial changes and that they are not necessary because everyone is striving towards the European Union.

In Kosovo, he says, there is skepticism about the role of Josep Borell and Miroslav Lajčák in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia because their countries – Spain and Slovakia – have not recognized Kosovo.

“Lajčák’s main task will be to persuade the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić to withdraw from the agreement on the exchange of territories or some variation of it,” Kurti said, Koha.net reports.

Albin Kurti wrote on Twitter that Kosovo expresses its solidarity with the EU who has over 800,000 infected & 70,000 deaths due to COVID-19, by lighting up the Kosovo Government building with colors of the EU flag.

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