WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

Happy Presidents Day!

  • Celebrations: Serbia marked Statehood Day on Friday commemorating the beginning of the First Serbian Uprising in 1804 with a ceremony that included Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and President of Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Zeljka Cvijanovic. Meanwhile, Kosovo marked its independence day on Sunday with ceremonies and a military paradethat its leaders and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama attended.
  • Welcome!: New US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Eric George Nelson arrived in Sarajevo on Sunday. See his first message in the Bosnian language here.
  • A US Congressional Trip led by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to Kosovo culminated in a meeting with Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj
  • Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during the Munich Security Conference to discuss the murder of the Bytyqi Brothers. They resided in Congressman Zeldin’s home district. A press release from Zeldin’s office writes: “Congressman Zeldin, Senator Roger Wicker (R, MS) (Chairman of the Helsinki Commission), and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D, NY-16) were joined at this important meeting at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, by a bipartisan delegation of Republican and Democrat Members of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate.”
  • Kosovo-Serbia: Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci traded barbs on a panel at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend showcasing how difficult the negotiations really is. Full video of the panel here. US President Donald Trump wrote a letter to the two leaders on Friday.

BEYOND THE POLITICS