Thank you for your reading and interest in the news Disputed lake on Serbia-Kosovo border could get a new name – Lake Trump and now with details
Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A proposal to name a disputed lake after Donald Trump is gaining traction among two bitter neighbours.
The body of water straddles the border of Serbia and Kosovo, with each country having a different name for it.
Kosovo fought a war for independence from Serbia in the aftermath of the former Yugoslavia breaking up into several separate nations.
War crime trials are still being held with defendants from both sides being tried at the Hague Tribunal in the Netherlands.
The bitter fallout from the war, waged from 1998-99, has resulted in UEFA banning Kosovo vs Serbia from international football fixtures.
After the ceasefire, the lake became a source of tension with Kosovo considering the stretch of water its own property, and Serbia, which still refuses to recognise its former province's independence, also claiming ownership.
While Serbians traditionally call the body of water Lake Gazivoda, to Kosovars it is known as Ujman Lake.
The lake is the crucial source of drinking water for more than a third of Kosovo's 1.8 million population, and a coolant for the coal plants that produce almost all of its electricity.
Now, as the neighbours try to improve relations with American support, the possibility of Lake Trump is being mooted.
Media outlets in both Kosovo and Serbia have reported on the Lake Trump idea.
Serbs from the north of Kosovo placed banners on the dam of Lake Gazivoda and the nearby Brnjak bridge, sending a message of support to Mr Trump, Serbia’s B92 media reported.
And Kosovo prime minister Avdullah Hoti confirmed Lake Trump could become a reality, saying he welcomed the proposal “in honour of reaching a historic agreement”.
The Kosovan Gazeta Express reported that both Mr Hoti and Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic supported the Lake Trump name.
Washington has recently stepped up efforts to help the Balkan neighbours by focusing on economic progress in the region. The two sides have agreed to boost economic ties in a US-brokered deal and American diplomats visited Serbia and Kosovo this week.
It is understood that during negotiations at the White House, presidential envoy Richard Grenell first aired the idea of renaming the lake after Mr Trump.
Mr Grenell said the idea of Lake Trump was originally a joke. "There was this incredible fight about the name so I kind of jokingly said... well, I'm going to keep referring to it as Lake Trump", he said.
The Ujman/Gazivoda Lake, measuring 24km in lengthy, is largely located in Kosovo but about 20 per cent of it lies in Serbian territory.
Updated: September 25, 2020 08:48 PM
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