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Diplomat Christopher Hill Confirmed As US Ambassador To Serbia

Diplomat Christopher Hill Confirmed As US Ambassador To Serbia

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The United States Senate has confirmed the appointment of retired diplomat Christopher Hill as US ambassador to Serbia.

Hill had a long career history in the Balkans. He served as acting ambassador to Albania in 1991, the first to hold the post since 1939. He was also US Ambassador to Macedonia between 1996-1999 and Special Envoy to Kosovo in 1998 and 1999.

In 1995, Hill was also part of the team that negotiated the Dayton Agreement that put an end to the Bosnian War.

During the hearings that followed his nomination, Hill told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that mutual recognition between Serbia and Kosovo is the best way forward.

He also spoke about Serbia’s involvement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and outlined his expectations that Belgrade would commit to dialogue, stressing that “the future of the Republika Srpska is in BiH.”

The Serbian leader of Bosnia, Milorad Dodik, had strengthened ties with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic who hasn’t been shy about his plans to unify Serbians in the Balkans. Under Vucic’s influence, the Serbian entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina has voted to leave key state institutions as it increases efforts to secede.

As part of his confirmation, Hill said that he would “try to help Serbia build resistance to malignant external influences, including Russian and Chinese.”

“The United States does not want to see the strengthening of Russian influence in Belgrade. Serbia is buying military equipment and that is necessary, but it is worried that it is procuring weapons from Russia. Also, in order to satisfy the great infrastructural needs, Serbia is turning to China. We need to show Serbia that we offer a better model, that we are a better alternative than Russia and China,“ he asserted.

Serbia has been Russia’s strongest ally in the Western Balkans, as evidence by its refusal to impose sanction on Russia after it invaded Ukraine. Belarus is the only other European country not to have done so.

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