US forces Serbia & Kosovo into a “deal” where China’s tech is Out

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Serbia and Kosovo signed a deal for deepening (their) economic cooperation in Washington, under the auspices of US President Donald Trump. Simultaneously, Israel announced that it is recognizing Kosovo while Serbia announced it will move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The deal does not include a commitment for Serbia to recognize Kosovo and Kosovo will suspend its membership in international organizations for a year. Serbian officials yesterday said that the US included an article that would lead to Serbian recognition of Kosovo as an independent country, which President Aleksandar Vucic refused to do.

The deal also does not include any territory swaps.

Serbia and the US protectorate agreed to jointly manage the Gazivoda reservoir and Kosovo will join the Mini Schengen initiative which also includes Albania and Macedonia. Kosovo previously refused to have anything to do with this initiative, fearing it would increase Serbian influence in the region.

Most importantly, under this “deal”, both Kosovo and Serbia agree to “prohibit the use of 5G equipment supplied by untrusted vendors (China) in their communications networks.” If you think this is odd, there are four points in the “agreement” between Prishtina and Belgrade where Israel is the main talking point. Tel Aviv forced Washington to bully Serbia into moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Essentially, this “deal” between Kosovo and Serbia is really a deal for Washington to ensure China is out of the Balkans and for Israel to get what it needed to get.