A Land Swap Won’t Solve the Serbia-Kosovo Conundrum

The European Union is again taking the lead role in mediating between Serbia and Kosovo after a planned Washington meeting came to nothing – and that means the idea of resolving the problem with a land swap is unlikely to resurface soon.

It was supposed to be a triumph for the Trump administration, a welcome foreign policy boost ahead of this November’s presidential elections.

Alas, a planned White House meeting between the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo, Aleksandar Vucic and Hashim Thaci, was stymied by an announcement by the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office that the latter could face trial for war crimes.

US mediation in the Kosovo-Serbia dispute arguably became a victim of its own success; the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office being so aghast by the prospect that Thaci might negotiate an amnesty for himself that it took the unprecedented step of publicising an indictment that is yet to be confirmed by a judge.

The European Union has since jumped at the opportunity to re-engage with a process which it initiated and presided over for almost a decade.

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