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Kosovo, Serbia to share classified information on thousands missing since war

Kosovo and Serbia have agreed to cooperate in locating burial sites from the Kosovo War of the late 1990s, in order to identify and locate the remains of 1,621 people who remain missing. The war resulted in the deaths of more than 13,000 people, mostly ethnic Albanians.

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The failure to locate and identify the missing has long been a point of contention in relations between the two nations.

The new agreement was reached in Brussels, where Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić are attending a high-level meeting aimed at normalizing relations.

The agreement includes sharing classified documents and using satellite technology to identify suspected mass graves. The largest mass grave found so far contained the bodies of more than 800 Kosovo Albanians and was discovered in 2001 in a police compound near Belgrade.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, but Serbia refuses to acknowledge the statehood of its former province. Although the two nations agreed in March to implement a Western-backed plan aimed at improving ties, progress has been limited.

An unresolved issue is the extent of autonomy to be granted to Kosovo’s Serb minority, which comprises approximately 5 percent of the population.

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