Kosovo, Serbia May Rename Shared Lake After Trump in Honor of Recent Deal

Kosovo and Serbia may rename a shared lake after President Donald Trump in honor of his administration's work facilitating an economic normalization agreement between the two neighbors.

The two nations—once at war amid the breakup of Yugoslavia in the late 1990s—have long disagreed over the name of the artificial lake that sits along their shared border. Serbia refers to it as the Gazivoda Lake, while the Kosovans call it Lake Ujman.

According to U.S. special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations Richard Grenell, the dispute could soon be put to rest under Trump's name. He tweeted Thursday that the two sides had agreed to the compromise name change, which was later confirmed by Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.

"What to call the lake that is in Kosovo and Serbia has been a serious sticking point despite the U.S. forged compromise to launch a feasibility study to create jobs and more energy for the region....so both sides have agreed to a new name: Lake Trump," Grenell wrote on Twitter.

Hoti soon confirmed the report on Twitter, citing Grenell's influence in the apparent agreement.

"I welcomed Amb Grenell's proposal that Lake Ujman be renamed Trump Lake, in honor of @realDonaldTrump role in reaching a historic #economicnormalization agreement between Rep. of #Kosovo and Serbia, as a major step towards a final pol. agreement, resulting in mutual recognition," Hoti said.

Hoti also wrote on Facebook that the country has a history of naming places after Americans involved in Kosovo's struggle for independence. "Kosovo has named several squares after American personalities, including Presidents Clinton and Bush, Senator Bob Dole, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in honor of their role in Kosovo's freedom and independence from Serbia," he said.

Newsweek has contacted both the Kosovo and Serbian governments to request confirmation of the agreement to rename the lake after the president. It is not yet clear whether Serbia has agreed to the proposal, and neither Grenell nor Hoti gave any indication as to when or how the name change might be made official.

Grenell was heavily involved in last month's economic normalization deal. The agreement—signed by leaders in the Oval Office—also included plans for Israel and Kosovo to establish diplomatic relations and for Serbia to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

At the signing ceremony, Grenell said he hoped the economic deal could help "unstick" difficult elements of political negotiations. "I think one of the great parts of this agreement is over the next year, we have a freeze on the recognition and derecognition campaigns," he told reporters.

"That means over this next year, we can see job growth and job creation really take hold in the region. And then a year from now, judge us on where the political process goes," Grenell said.

Donald Trump, lake, Kosovo, Serbia, rename, peace
President Donald Trump participates in a signing ceremony and meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti in the Oval Office of the White House on September 4 in Washington, D.C. Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images/Getty
Kosovo, Serbia May Rename Shared Lake After Trump in Honor of Recent Deal | World