Why do Serbs support Donald Trump

Donald Trump should get his own lake

A reservoir between Serbia and Kosovo could reportedly be renamed after the US president in gratitude for US mediation in the dispute between the two countries.

Kosovo is about to name a lake after US President Donald Trump. Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti is said to have approved a proposal by Trump's special envoy for Kosovo and Serbia, according to media reports.

The US government recently highlighted the signing of documents by Hoti and Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic as a breakthrough in the relationship between the two warring states in the Oval Office of the White House.

He welcomed the proposal from Special Envoy Richard Grenell, said Hoti. Specifically, it is about the Gazivoda Reservoir (Albanian also: Ujman Lake), which is located directly on the border with Serbia. Both countries lay claim to the reservoir, 80 percent of which is in Kosovo and 20 percent in Serbia.

The lake was created in the 1970s by the damming of the Ibar river, about 16 kilometers long and a maximum of 1100 meters wide.

Grenell used to be the US ambassador to Germany. According to observers, he is a candidate for foreign minister if Trump is re-elected in November. Prime Minister Hoti recalled the words of the President of the Kosovar Albanian War, Ibrahim Rugova (1944-2006). He said: "We have a special and permanent friendship."

Country struggles for recognition

In 1999, NATO, headed by the USA, intervened in the struggle of the predominantly Albanian region of Kosovo, which at the time belonged to Serbia and the rest of Yugoslavia, with air strikes. Then NATO ground forces moved into the region, they came under UN administration. In 2008 the former Serbian province declared its independence after no negotiated solution with Serbia was reached. Belgrade still regards Kosovo as part of Serbia and does not want to recognize independence. This is not yet universally recognized worldwide, not even within the EU, where, among others, Spain and Greece do not recognize the small country with its around 1.8 million inhabitants under international law.

Trump played an "extraordinary role in the historic agreement to normalize economic relations between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia," said Hoti. This is an important step towards a final political agreement with Serbia, including mutual recognition. The citizens of Kosovo are "eternally grateful" to the USA.

Specifically, however, Hoti and Vucic did not sign a bilateral agreement in Washington. Rather, each of the two signed their own document. In it they promise to complete important road and rail connections from Kosovo to Serbia. It should be possible for Serbian and Kosovar citizens to travel from one country to another in the future without a passport, only with an identity card. In addition, Serbia is to suspend its campaign against the recognition of Kosovo, against the withdrawal of recognition and against the acceptance of Kosovo into international organizations for one year. Conversely, Kosovo should not apply for membership in the UN or OSCE during the same period. The desolate country, which has hardly any economic base, is allowed to apply for recognition from individual states.

"Show" before the election?

Many commentators saw the staging in the White House primarily as a "show" by Trump to collect points as a dealmaker with a foreign policy success in the US election campaign.

The Albanians are traditionally positive about the USA. In the Kosovar capital Prishtina there is a Bill Clinton Boulevard and a George Bush Street. The Kosovar daily newspaper "Gazeta Express" published a photograph of Lake Ujman with the addition of "Lake Trump" on its Internet portal on Thursday evening. Previously, the Belgrade media recorded a banner attached to the reservoir with the words: "President Trump, the Kosovar Serbs are grateful to you for the peace they bring!" Many Kosovar Serbs are critical of the state of Kosovo and do not want to recognize it like the Serbian government.

(APA / red.)