Documents signed at the White House cover wider scope than expected 

Kosovo-Serbia White House signing ceremony; Photo: Twitter / AIEmbassyUSA

WASHINGTON – Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti and President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić signed separate documents at the White House today. The parts that have attracted much attention are the commitment of Serbia to move its Embassy to Isreal to Jerusalem on 1 July 2021, while Kosovo and Israel agreed to recognise each other, which was not previously disclosed to the public as a topic of negotiations.

According to the photos of which have surfaced on social networks, only Vučić and Hoti signed their respective document, which differs from the other when it comes to the Israel clause.

President Donald Trump praised this particular part of the documents on his Twitter account.

There are other clauses of the documents that are hard to relate to the Kosovo-Serbia normalisation process. However, they can be traced to the political activities of the members of the Trump administration.

Such clauses include prohibiting the use of 5G equipment supplied by “untrusted vendors”. Where such equipment is already present, the parties will commit to their removal and mediation. Both sides pledged to diversify their energy sources.

The parties also pledged to designate Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organisation and work with 69 countries which criminalise homosexuality to push for decriminalisation.

When it comes to the more immediate issues of Serbia-Kosovo relations, Kosovo agreed to a one-year moratorium on membership in international organisations, while Serbia agreed to a one-year moratorium on derecognition campaign and informal requesting of international organisations and nations not to recognise Kosovo, taking effect immediately.

The two sides agreed to implement Belgrade-Pristina rail and highway agreement achieved on 14 February 2020. They will also operationalise the Merdare Common Crossing Point facility.

Kosovo and Serbia agreed to work with the US International Development Finance Corporation and EXIM on memorandums of understanding to operationalise the Peace Highway, the rail link between Pristina and Merdare, the rail link between Niš and Pristina, financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises and other projects.

A feasibility study for the purposes of sharing Gazivode/Ujmani lake in cooperation with US Department of Energy was agreed. The issue of Gazivode reportedly represented a point of contention between Hoti’s LDK and coalition partner Ramush Haradinaj of AAK.

Both sides will also join the “mini-Schengen” agreement reached by North Macedonia, Albania and Serbia in October 2019. They will also recognise diplomas and professional certificates.

Serbia and Kosovo also pledged further commitment in locating the missing persons.