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Trump’s envoy for Kosovo talks meets Serbia officials

Updated Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 | 5:58 a.m.

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy for talks between Balkan rivals Serbia and Kosovo has traveled to Serbia's capital as part of a renewed push to restart negotiations to normalize relations between the two countries.

The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade said Ambassador Richard Grenell is carrying the message that "the people of Serbia and Kosovo want peace, economic development, jobs, and a better life for their children."

Serbian forces put down an armed uprising during a 1998-99 war in what was then Serbia's province of Kosovo. Kosovo declared independence in 2008. Serbia refuses to recognize the country.

European Union-backed negotiations on the issue have been stalled for about a year.

Grenell is the U.S. ambassador in Germany. He visited Kosovo on Wednesday. Officials see his envoy appointment as a sign of stepped-up U.S. engagement.