Serbia + 1 more

Unresolved property issue represents obstacle to Serb return to Kosovo-Metohija

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Belgrade, June 17, 2005 - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica received today Walter Kaelin, who is the representative of the UN Secretary-General for the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, and stressed that just 3 percent of the exiled and expelled Serb population has so far returned to Kosovo-Metohija, which has also been confirmed by UNMIK data.

Kostunica pointed out that it is not possible to achieve progress in this respect until Serb property is returned and protected in Kosovo-Metohija.

Kaelin agreed that the unresolved property issue is the main obstacle for the return of exiled and internally displaced Serbs to Kosovo-Metohija. He also concurred with the fact that no progress has been made in the process of the return of internally displaced and exiled Serbs, and pointed to the necessity of creating conditions for their return to Kosovo-Metohija and securing the respect of their human rights.

Kaelin said that efforts of the Serbian government to solve the problem of displaced person and the fulfilment of their human rights are evident.

Kostunica assessed that considerable progress has been achieved in the process of the return of exiled and displaced persons from the area of the former states of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina - but emphasised that it is necessary to devote special attention to the issue of property.