Is the “love affair” between Trump and Serbia finished?

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When the new US president Donald J. Trump recently congratulated Kosovo on the anniversary of the proclamation of its independence, he seemingly disappointed those in Serbia who allegedly expected that America, under his rule, would change its policy in the Balkans – in favour of presumed Serbian interests.

When Trump met Kosovo’s parliament speaker Kadri Veselji earlier this week, the disappointment grew even bigger. But the real cold shower was the statement by Nikki Haley, the new American ambassador in the United Nations: “Kosovo deserves to take its rightful place in the international community, including full membership in the UN.”

Trump had been praised by some Serbian politicians and media when he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 elections.

A tabloid had published Trump’s poster; another had leased billboards in Belgrade congratulating him. A shoe factory owner from Banja Luka sent Trump’s wife Melania special pumps. And all this was done with the expectation that the new US president would “promote Serbian interests” – in contrast to Hillary Clinton who presumably would not, but rather follow Bill Clinton’s and his successors’ course.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic was among those who were speaking about the big changes that Trump’s victory would bring to the world, including Serbia.

Now, it seems that these dreams have dispersed. The best evidence of this is today’s front page of the Informer, the leading Serbian tabloid, which supports the current Serbian government. “Trump Shiptar”, its headline read. “Shiptar” is a Serbian pejorative term for Kosovo Albanians. Back in November 2016, Informer leased billboards praising Trump’s triumph over “anti-Serb” Hillary.

The Blic daily reports about Trump’s “slapping Serbia on the face”. But Kosovo’s parliament speaker Kadri Veselji stresses that his meeting with the American president wasn’t a slap for Serbia. “This was rather a message for Serbia that it should behave in a different manner”, he told Lajmi, Kosovo newspapers in Albanian.

Finally, Matthew Palmer, State Department official who recently visited Belgrade, said in an interview that the US remain interested in the Balkans. He denied Serbian tabloids reports that Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin have agreed “influence zones” under which Serbia would be part of the Russian domain.

Such ideas “sound like speculative fiction”, Palmer said.

(IBNA, 23.02.2017)

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One Reply to “Is the “love affair” between Trump and Serbia finished?”

  1. DardaniaLion says:

    I don’t even understand why Serbs think that Trump will support them and harm us Albanians? What a Serb do you have to be, to think that America will support you and harm us?

    I wonder what will happen with all the painting that you guys did. I mean Trump and Putin together and saying Kosovo is Serbia.

    You guys are a joke.

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