Top UN official in Kosovo and Yugoslav President agree on further cooperation

5 April 2001

Meeting in Belgrade today, the top United Nations official in Kosovo and Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica agreed to continue their cooperation on a wide range of issues.

Hans Haekkerup, head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and President Vojislav Kostunica both said the talks, which lasted for one hour, had been constructive.

According to UNMIK, President Kostunica agreed to urge the Kosovo Serbs to participate in finalizing the legal framework for provisional self-government for Kosovo, and to take part in elections to be held later this year. Legal experts from Belgrade would assist Kosovo Serbs in finalizing the framework.

Mr. Haekkerup said he had agreed to use his best efforts to determine the fate of 3,000 missing persons in Kosovo, 1,300 of whom were Serbs. As part of that task, he raised the possibility of doing DNA testing on the approximately 600 still-unidentified remains.

On the question of the divided city of Mitrovica, it was agreed that UNMIK would work with the Yugoslav Committee for Cooperation to ensure improved security for the area's Serbs.

Discussions also touched on the subject of Serb returns. UNMIK said that while such returns were possible, "it would still be a matter of enclaves rather than free and open return and resettlement."


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