„Opening the state archives of Serbia is of utmost importance because the crimes were not committed by individuals, but by the Serbian state,“ the Kosovan Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, said today. On the eve of the continuation of the Brussels dialogue, instead of showing readiness to resolve open issues of common interest, Kurti continues to spread his inflammatory statements and accusations against official Belgrade, the head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petkovic, said in response.
The main reason behind the visit of the Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Martin Schüepp, to Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and the region is the issue of missing persons from the Kosovo war.
On this occasion, Kurti stated that the issue of the missing is an open and unhealed wound. He furthermore underlined that „opening the state archives of Serbia is of the utmost importance because the crimes were not committed by individuals, but by the Serbian state.“
The Prime Minister reiterated that the Kosovo government is committed to addressing the demands and concerns of the families of missing persons. Shedding light on the fate and location of the missing, an improved legal and institutional treatment of their families and establishing justice remain a priority, the Kosovo Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
Petkovic: Serbia made concrete progress, Pristina has not
On the eve of the continuation of the Brussels dialogue, instead of showing readiness to resolve open issues of common interest, Kurti continues to spread his inflammatory statements and accusations against official Belgrade – the head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petkovic, immediately reacted to Kurti’s statement.
While claiming that resolving the issue of the missing is of key importance for Belgrade as well – noting that it advocates for this during every talk in Brussels – Petkovic emphasized that Serbia will not treat that issue through a daily political prism.
„We have repeatedly and unequivocally stated that we are ready to open all archives and search all locations Pristina suspects to contain the remains of missing Albanians. At the same time, we expect concrete cooperation from Pristina on this issue. Unfortunately, Pristina consistently refuses any mention of opening KLA archives or allowing our expert teams to search locations in Kosovo, for which there are very clear indications that they contain the bodies of Serbs who went missing during the conflict,“ he said in a statement.
The head of the Kosovo Office also recalled that Belgrade searched several potential locations in question, including the most recent site – Kizevak. He, however, stressed that Pristina does not show readiness to do the same.
„Unfortunately, on the other hand, there is a persistent lack of minimal civilised readiness to do the same. I am sorry that the Pristina side rejects any possibility of cooperation on this issue and treats the issue of the missing exclusively through a showdown with official Belgrade. We will not treat any victim in that way, regardless of ethnicity.“
The search for the missing is an obligation toward the past, but also to the future, children, peace, compromise, and progress, Petkovic concluded.
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