The new special representative of the US President in the Balkans will be Gabriel Escobar. Western diplomatic sources of Kommersant associate his appointment with the intention of the new US administration to pursue a “more energetic policy in the Balkan region”. An experienced American diplomat, Gabriel Escobar, was almost a key player who pursued the line of the US administration in the region in the late 1990s, when Washington actively opposed the then authoritarian Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. With details — the correspondent of “Kommersant ” in the Balkans Gennady Sysoev.The new special representative of the US President in the Balkans will take office on September 7. This information leaked to the regional media was confirmed at the American Embassy in Belgrade, where Gabriel Escobar was still the deputy ambassador. In the State Department, he will take the post of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.Although during his rich diplomatic career, Gabriel Escobar managed to work in many countries, including Russia, Iraq, Pakistan, Bolivia, Portugal, Italy and the Czech Republic, his “profile” region is considered the Balkans. From 1998 to 2001, he performed a number of important functions there: he headed the department of the US Embassy in Republika Srpska, then he was the deputy head of the American mission in Montenegro and, finally, the head of the political department of the Embassy in Serbia. It was during this period that the United States and NATO actively opposed the course of the then authoritarian Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who was eventually first removed from power in October 2000, and then found himself in the dock of The Hague Tribunal.Until now, Matthew Palmer was responsible for this direction in the State Department, who did not achieve real success. In particular, because under the previous American administration, the personal representative of the US president, Richard Grenell, was in charge of Balkan affairs in parallel, who did not particularly coordinate his activities with his colleague from the State Department, and even more so with the EU special representative in the Balkans, Miroslav Lajcak. “Now we can expect that Washington’s policy in the region will be different than in the days of Donald Trump, “the interlocutors of Kommersant believe.At the beginning of the year, immediately after the new American administration came to the White House, the head of the State Department, Anthony Blinken, said that the United States would strive to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Based on this, the new American emissary will probably try first of all to move the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which has been virtually frozen for a long time. “The frozen Serbian-Albanian conflict does not meet the interests of the United States,” sources explain to Kommersant. And the influential Belgrade publication Politika states: “A honeymoon in the relations of the US administration and (p�ез Yezident of Serbia.- “Kommersant”) Alexander Vucic, which was started during the time of Donald Trump, is completed.”The sources of Kommersant also call the withdrawal from the actual impasse of the functioning system of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which the leaders of the Republika Srpska block many initiatives of the central authorities and regularly threaten a referendum on secession from the country, an obvious priority of Gabriel Escobar. According to Western diplomatic sources, “Kommersant”, Gabriel Escobar will make visits to most countries of the region immediately after his appointment to a new position. During this trip, he will outline the priorities of the new US administration in the Balkans, and therefore, the key areas of his activity.
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