Miroslav Lajcak, the European Union special representative to the Belgrade-Pristina dialog, said after meeting with the Serbian and Kosovo delegations in Brussels that the issue of missing persons in Kosovo was important for reconciliation between the two sides.
"This is a very symbolic issue in the context of reconciliation, and it is a very real issue for the families who live with uncertainty for decades. It is key to work with the [International Committee of the Red Cross] to solve the remaining cases and bring closure to the file," Lajcak said late on July 16, after a meeting of delegations spearheaded by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Premier Avdullah Hoti.
He said two topics had been the focus of the sit-down: missing and displaced persons and economic cooperation. Lajcak said economic cooperation was important to ensure sustainable living conditions for everyone residing in Kosovo.
"The second issue discussed was economic cooperation. It is one of the backbones of the European Union. Intensified economic cooperation means making use of the full economic potential of Kosovo and Serbia, and it means creating jobs and improving living standards for the people," he said.
After the meeting, Vucic said the talks had not been easy, but that certain headway had been made on the subjects of missing and displaced persons, and the economy. He added that the ethnic Albanians had asked for Serbian military and police archives to be opened to them and that the Serbian side had agreed if Kosovo Liberation Army files were opened, too.
According to Vucic, technical talks will resume on July 22.
Hoti called the meeting in Brussels difficult, adding that the two sides had agreed on steps to take in the weeks and months to come.
Before the meeting of the two leaders -- the first direct encounter in the dialog process in 20 months, there were bilateral meetings between the heads of the two delegations and EU officials Josep Borrell, high representative for foreign and security policy, and Lajcak.
The next high-level meeting will take place in Brussels in September.