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Kosovo &Serbia Talks On Missing Persons Resume

UN Hails Resumption Of Talks Between Kosovo And Serbia On Missing Persons

The United Nations administrator for Kosovo today welcomed the resumption of direct talks between Serbia and the province to resolve the issue of more than 3,000 people still missing five years after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) drove out Yugoslav troops amid ethnic fighting between Albanians and Serbs.

“This process is, above all, about the families of persons unaccounted for, and every single day these families pass without answers only increases their suffering,” Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Søren Jessen-Petersen said of the new talks, which came two months after he visited Geneva for talks with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the issue.

“I trust that the delegations will conduct the dialogue in a constructive manner and in a way that focuses fully on the humanitarian perspective,” he added of the working group of the two sides, which has only met once since it was set up in March 2004. “The key goal of this working group should be the facilitation and provision of concrete answers to the families of the missing.”

He thanked the ICRC for chairing this dialogue, adding: “I look forward to further meetings of the working group so that we can make real progress as quickly as possible.”

The UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has been running the province since 1999.

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