Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Aljbin Kurti adopted the Declaration on Missing Persons today in Brussels, with the mediation of the European Union, Anadolia reports.
The declaration on missing persons was the first item on the agenda of the meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Aljbin Kurti with EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell, with the support of EU Special Representative for Dialogue Miroslav Lajčak.
It was announced on the website of the European Union that the leaders confirmed the importance of solving the fate of the remaining missing persons, in order to end the suffering of their loved ones and to promote lasting reconciliation and peace.
It is emphasized that both sides recognized the issue of missing persons as a humanitarian one and emphasized the urgent need for additional joint efforts to alleviate the situation of the affected families and the wider community.
“They recognized the important work done by the Working Group on Missing Persons, chaired by the International Committee of the Red Cross. As a sign of their joint determination to ensure the full implementation of obligations in the field of missing persons, they adopted the Declaration on Missing Persons”, the EU states.
They also pledged to agree on the operational details at the next EU-backed normalization dialogue meeting at the level of chief negotiators.
Of the 6,065 cases of disappearances in the period from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2000, 1,621 remained unsolved. More than twenty years later, their families continue to live in grief, not knowing where their loved ones are. Families have the right to know the fate of their relatives, as does society as a whole.
Solving the issue of the missing is not only a humanitarian obligation. It is also a key factor for reconciliation and trust between people. It has become urgent to ensure that the process of identifying the burial site is completed as soon as possible. Memories fade, and individuals, places and events are harder to research.
Therefore, the EU welcomes the acceptance of the declaration and expects the parties to make tangible progress in ending the outstanding cases of missing persons and fulfilling their obligations to families. The Joint Monitoring Committee, chaired by the EU, which oversees the implementation of the Agreement on the Normalization Path between Kosovo and Serbia and its Implementation Annex, will regularly review the progress made.
The high-level meeting in Brussels began shortly after 6 p.m. In the announcement of the meeting, the EU stated that the agenda will include a presentation and discussion of the first draft of the statute of the Association/Community of Municipalities with a Serbian majority in Kosovo.
“The parties will also have the opportunity to discuss current issues of political importance,” it was announced.
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