U.S. President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell will take on a second job: special envoy for peace negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo.
The White House announced Thursday that Trump intends for Grenell to serve concurrently as the German ambassador and as his “special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations.” The 53-year-old Grenell has been Trump’s envoy to Germany since May last year and has a reputation for being a diplomatic bad boy.
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but while most Western countries have recognized it as an independent state, Serbia and its allies haven’t, effectively shutting it out of the U.N. and EU and NATO membership talks.
Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi and Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli welcomed Grenell’s appointment. Thaçi said he looks forward to “working with him in ensuring finality of peace in Balkans bringing Kosovo inside NATO and EU families.” Pacolli tweeted that Grenell will “have our support,” and said his appointment “shows US & @POTUS personal interest to achieve a legally binding agreement between 2 countries that leads to mutual recognition and peace in our region.”