The European Union announced that it had accepted the “Declaration of Missing Persons”, which provides for joint efforts to clarify the status of 1,621 people whose fate is unknown, by the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia.
According to a written statement from the Office of the EU High Representative for Foreign Relations and Defense Policy Josep Borrell, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti met in Brussels within the scope of the EU-mediated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. He said that determining the fate of the missing, achieving lasting reconciliation, and reaffirming the importance of promoting peace.
Both sides recognized the urgent need for more joint efforts to solve the problem and alleviate the suffering of the community.
In recognition of the important work done through the Working Group on Missing Persons chaired by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the parties endorsed the “Statement of Missing Persons” as evidence of their joint determination to ensure the full implementation of the relevant commitments.
The two sides also committed themselves to agreeing on the operational details at the level of chief negotiators in the next meeting of the dialogue on the normalization of relations.
The statement recalled that the fate of 1621 out of 6 thousand and 65 disappeared between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2000 is unknown.
For this reason, it was noted that the EU welcomes the parties’ endorsement of the declaration and that the EU-led Joint Monitoring Committee, which oversees the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement and its annex on the normalization path between Kosovo and Serbia, will regularly review progress.
Relations between Serbia and Kosovo
Serbia considers Kosovo, which unilaterally declared its independence in 2008, to be its territory.
Serbia and Kosovo, which clash periodically, are trying to find a common way to normalize relations, and eventually the two countries get to know each other, within the scope of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue process initiated in 2011 with the mediation of the European Union.
On March 18, in the EU-mediated negotiations in Ohrid, North Macedonia, which lasted about 12 hours, an agreement was reached on an agreement that would normalize relations between the two countries.
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