President of Liberland, a “state” located between Croatia and Serbia, hopes for better relations with the United States.
In the flood of diplomatic activities awaiting the newly elected president of the United States Donald Trump, there is one which is stranger than the rest. The self-proclaimed president of the self-proclaimed state Liberland Vit Jedlicka said he expected to have excellent relations with the United States now that the President-elect is Donald Trump.
According to Washington Post, Jedlicka said that “there are many ties and shared ideas between Liberland and President Trump”, pointing out that it was a “significant coincidence” that both men had given speeches at FreedomFest in Las Vegas in 2015.
There are plans afoot to attend Trump’s inauguration in January, Jedlicka said. “I am honoured that my advisors are connected to President Trump through a number of people in his campaign staff and newly appointed key people in his administration”, he said. However, the relationship between Liberland and the United States may be quite difficult, since Washington does not recognize Liberland as a sovereign state. In fact, neither does any other country.
The state of Liberland was proclaimed in April 2015 by Jedlicka after he asserted sovereignty over a patch of land on the banks of the Danube River. Thanks to a decades-long border dispute between Croatia and Serbia, the area is effectively no man’s land; Jedlicka decided it would be a suitable location for a new microstate: a libertarian paradise with optional taxes and limited government power.
In 2016 – the year Trump was elected amid a global wave of populist anger – the appeal of Liberland perhaps makes a bit more sense. Jedlicka has formed ties with other anti-establishment European political movements: Liberland’s German representative, Christian Jacken, is a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD).
Jedlicka says U.S. relations are at the top of Liberland’s agenda. He has appointed Thomas Walls, an American, as Liberland’s foreign minister. Jedlicka was planning to fly to Miami on Saturday for meetings to improve U.S.-Liberland relations. There’s hope that Trump may be more receptive to Jedlicka’s vision. Jedlicka also said he welcomed reports that Trump may nominate Czech-born Ivana Trump, his ex-wife, as ambassador to the Czech Republic, Liberland’s diplomatic base.
However, when asked who in Trump’s orbit had ties to Liberland, Walls said it would be “premature” to reveal the links at this time. “We can say we have a strong supporter of Liberland who is a close adviser to one of Trump’s already announced cabinet picks and somewhat famous in his own right”, Walls said. “Another member of the Liberland team has just published one of Trump’s books in Europe.”