Laura Autton-Wise, a research associate at Edinburgh Law School in the UK who specializes in peacebuilding and peace agreements, says that the optics of peace agreement signing ceremonies are usually about presenting conflict parties as central, equal partners to the commitments they are mutually agreeing to uphold; even the most high profile of mediators are positioned at the back or to the side of such a significant moment.
But in Washington, everything about the stage for the Kosovo-Serbia agreement was centred on one man only: Donald Trump.
“The lower desks for Vučić and Hoti either side of Trump; also having them sat in front of his desk like school children being chastised; him signing some unknown, undisclosed paper whilst they sign their copies of the agreement; the almost exclusively male line-up,” she said.
“The overall performance sends a message to the people of Kosovo and Serbia that is mirrored by the content of the agreement: ‘This deal is not about you.’”
21 Sep 2020
Who is Richard Grenell? The 'Creative Disruptor' at the Heart of Trump's Kosovo-Serbia Deal