The Kosovo authorities said a peace treaty would ease the process of reconciliation but would also ensure that Serbia pays compensation for the late 1990s war.
A peace treaty with Serbia would include “a request for apology by Serbia, for compensation for war damages and [more clarity] about missing persons”, said Hajredin Kuci, Kosovo’s deputy prime minister and justice minister.
Kuci was speaking at the first meeting of Kosovo’s new inter-ministerial working group on dealing with the past and reconciliation, held on Monday in Pristina.
“This group will deal in detail with reparations for all war victims in Kosovo - before the war and during the transitional period,” Kuci said.
The group brings together government officials with representatives of civil society.
“The main goal of the group will be to establish a national strategy for reconciliation,” said Dhurata Hoxha, the head of the group and a political advisor to the prime minister.
Work must begin on the strategy within the first ten months after the group’s initial meeting, although it remains unclear when it will be finished or implemented.
According to a government decision of June 2012 on the establishment of the group, the drafting of the strategy has to start in a ten month period.
During the 1998-99 war in Kosovo, more than 13,000 people are estimated to have been killed, and more than 1,700 remain missing.
Hoxha said that “investigations will take place” as the basis for future prosecutions.
“Victims will present their evidence. The judicial authorities [in Kosovo], in cooperation with those from the region, will investigate the cases so perpetrators can be brought to justice,” she said.
However, Hoxha couldn’t say what format the group would take.
“Without having finished consultations with victims, we cannot decide if we want to have a truth-seeking commission like South Africa has, because the victims might not want to have something like that,” she said.