The agreement obliges Kosovo and Serbia to build road and rail links linking their capitals to improve the flow of goods and people, developments that could attract Western investment. It also requires Kosovo to join a passport and duty-free initiative, which is expected to include Albania, Serbia and northern Macedonia. But it fell short of the internationally mentioned goal of convincing Belgrade to recognise its former province, which has been at the centre of more than a decade of talks again negotiated by the EU. Kosovo, where more than 90% of the population is ethnic Albanians, declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Nevertheless, the agreement brokered by the Trump administration was the first tangible sign of cooperation between the two neighbours since the end of EU talks two years ago. In 2018, Pristina imposed a 100% customs penalty on Serbian goods for its “aggressive campaign against Kosovo”, namely to deprive countries of its lobbying policy of their recognition of Kosovo and to prevent them from joining international organizations such as Interpol. The crushing tax — criticized by the United States — was abolished in April. The 4 September agreement provides for a one-year moratorium on Serbia`s campaign for non-recognition of Kosovo and its attempts to join international organisations. Details of the agreement were not immediately available, but it was limited to normalizing certain economic relations, facilitating trade and opening road, rail and air links between former opponents of the Balkan war.
I welcome the signing of the s/w #Kosovo-#Serbia agreement today in Washington. Thank you for @WhiteHouse, @realDonaldTrump and @RichardGrenell for their leadership in this process. Kosovo will continue to work on economic development, employment and other domestic and int`l remediation. pic.twitter.com/Xha4BU1pLg The White House announced that Donald Trump will attend a ceremony on Friday to sign an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.