U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he wants U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to be his special envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, the White House has stated.
If his appointment is confirmed by the Senate, Grenell would perform both duties.
Radio Free Europe (RFE) says that Trump's decision comes as quite a surprise, seeing as diplomat Matthew Palmer was appointed in late August as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's special representative for the Western Balkans.
According to the Voice of America (VOA), Grenell is a foreign policy commentator, while as a consultant he spent several years working as media adviser to numerous U.S officials at various levels of government. He was also the spokesperson of the U.S. mission to the U.N., working under four ambassadors.
The Washington Post says that Grenell is Trump's trusted aide and that last December he met with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, who allegedly promised him that the tariffs on Serbian imports would be abolished.
According to RFE, in a tweet Thaci welcomed Grenell's appointment and said he was looking forward to cooperating with him.
The EU is also expected to appoint its own representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
VOA says that Grenell's term as U.S. ambassador to Germany has been filled with controversy almost from day one.
He first sparked criticism by saying that German companies should stop doing business with Iran, after the U.S. pulled out of a nuclear agreement with the country, and then gave an interview to the right-wing website Breitbart News in which he said he wanted to strengthen European right-wing parties and movements. That statement was condemned by the German authorities and the opposition.