Serbia + 2 more

Balkans: Joint efforts needed to resolve refugee problem

Belgrade, Oct 29, 2008 - Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Jovan Krkobabic met today with a UNHCR delegation headed by deputy head of the organisation in Europe Ugo Yantz.

Krkobabic informed Jantz about the problems of refugees from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as internally displaced persons from Kosovo.

It was agreed at the meeting that it is necessary to insist on a consistent implementation of the Sarajevo Declaration and that Serbia has been dealing with the refugee problem for several years, which makes it one of five Balkan countries with a long lasting refugee problem.

The main goal of the Geneva conference is that Serbia and Croatia find concrete solutions for the problems of refugees and internally displaced persons, to be realised in a precise time span.

The two sides are also to start an initiative for collecting donations for solving the problems of the most vulnerable refugees.

Yantz said that the meeting will be organised by the UN High Commissioner Antonio Guteres and expressed expectations that Serbian and Croatian delegations will include the deputy prime ministers of both countries.

The two sides also agreed that they are to make efforts to find permanent solutions for almost 97,000 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia living in Serbia.