US Kosovo envoy says he is focusing on the economy

US Kosovo envoy says he is focusing on the economy

US Kosovo envoy says he is focusing on the economy Izvor: Tanjug/Dragan Kujundžić

The US President’s special envoy Ambassador Richard Grenell said in Belgrade on Friday that Pristina has to revoke the 100 percent tariffs on Serbian goods and Belgrade has to stop its campaign against Kosovo’s independence.

Grenell said  his aim was that both sides revoke decisions which led to conflict and to enable normal life to stop youngsters from leaving the region

Speaking to the media after a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, he added he had no agenda or plan but is there to push both sides and encourage them to achieve what they want. He said he primarily wants to encourage Belgrade and Pristina to focus on the economy and create opportunities for young people.

He said he wants to create links.

"I won’t pressure you, I want to link you so that your economies will grow, to create more opportunities for young people to stay here and have hope. I am trying to focus on creating dynamics in the economy and I want to leave the politics up to you,” he said, adding that he is trying to focus on a brighter future for people in Serbia and Kosovo.

He said he feels excitement and energy because “we are talking and achieving some progress.

“If the two sides decide that they don’t want to talk any more I will leave and do something else,” the ambassador said.

Vucic told the media that they discussed better economic and infrastructure links in the region as well as the construction of a highway to Pristina and resuming rail traffic between Belgrade and Pristina which, he said, is why it was important to revoke the tariffs since a rail line is meaningless without cargo.

“The tariffs were imposed for no reason and we can’t have tit for tat, only same for same. We had a fair proposal to see if we could ease tension in the entire region, help the people in Kosovo but we can’t do the job if you say you want into some organization next week,” he said, adding that a compromise solution is why he is talking to Grenell. He said the ambassador is fair and “tells you outright things you like and things you don’t like”.

The president added that he told the ambassador that Serbia had lost 435 million Euros in a year of taxes.  

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