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Brussels, 11 July 2010

Statement by European Union High Representative / Commission Vice-President Catherine Ashton and European Commissioner Štefan Füle on the occasion of the 15th commemoration of Srebrenica

On this solemn day, which marks the 15th commemoration of the massacre at Srebrenica, the European Union pays homage to the victims and extends its condolences to those they left behind. The horrific crimes committed are a stain on the values, principles and fundamental rights that Europe stands for, and on our shared humanity.

Srebrenica is today a silent memorial to something that should have never happened and must never happen again.

For the survivors of Srebrenica, their pain and their grief will remain till the end of their days. Remembrance brings consolation at best. But reconciling for the future is a promise that we must pursue for the next generation. It depends on justice being served. Full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia remains both urgent and essential. Return and social integration of those displaced during the war is also part of the process, of restoring individual rights and building a common future in defiance of the crimes of war.

The European experience of the past six decades proves that a joint perspective can heal many wounds and create conditions for prosperity and a better future. Gradual reconciliantion can open new ways.

This is what the European Union wants for the survivors of Srebrenica - and for all the citizens of the Western Balkans. Justice for the victims pursued through the courts and a better European future for all, ensuring peace and stability and the rule of law.

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