Kosovo Leader Says Trump Urged Him to Make Peace With Serbia

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Donald Trump has offered to host leaders of Serbia and Kosovo at the White House to celebrate a potential “historic accord” that the two might reach, President Hashim Thaci said on Facebook, posting a copy of the letter.

European Union-mediated talks between Serbia and Kosovo have failed to produce a lasting agreement between the Balkan nations that were at war two decades ago. Both need to normalize ties to qualify for EU membership, but relations have deteriorated over Serbia’s refusal to recognize Kosovo as a country, blocking its bids to join international organizations, and an ensuing trade blockade.

“Failure to capitalize on this unique opportunity would be a tragic setback,” Trump wrote in the letter, according to a snapshot on Thaci’s Facebook account. “Another chance for a comprehensive peace is unlikely to occur again soon.”

Tensions flared again between the two neighbors this month after Kosovo, whose population is mostly ethnic-Albanian, passed laws to upgrade its lightly armed security force into an army. Serbia sees that as a threat to their minority Serb kin in Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence in 2008.

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