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OSCE, UNHCR officials discuss refugee returns between BiH, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro

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ZAGREB, 21 February 2003 - The OSCE and the UNHCR held a regional meeting at the senior level today to discuss problems related to refugee return to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro. Participants included heads of missions and senior officials of the two organizations in the three countries.
The meeting, held at the OSCE Mission to Croatia, is one of a series of regular consultations of the two organizations in the region and follows a similar meeting held in Sarajevo in October 2002.

In a joint statement, the OSCE and the UNHCR said that the meeting highlights the importance that the international community continues to attach to the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes in the region. The representatives of the two organizations emphasized that this requires an unconditional right to property repossession, appropriate solutions for former residents of previously socially-owned housing, as well as efforts by the Governments concerned to create a climate that is conducive to return.

Both organizations agreed to strengthen their co-operation towards finding lasting solutions for refugees and displaced persons in the region.

The meeting also highlighted the complementary role of the two organizations in South-Eastern Europe.

OSCE and UNHCR officials are also meeting with senior officials from the European Commission, the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Works, Reconstruction and Construction to discuss the return of refugees.

For further information, please contact:

Alessandro Fracassetti
Spokesperson
|OSCE Mission to Croatia
Florijana Andraseca 14
10000, Zagreb
Croatia
GMT +1
Tel.: +385 1 309 66 20
+385 91 1988 904 (mobile)
Fax: +385 1 309 62 97
E-mail: pau@oscecro.org