Prince Charles Ends Tours of Balkans By Encouraging Reconciliation In the Region

Pam WrightLife

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Prince Charles ended his tour of the Balkans by encouraging families who lost loved ones during the Balkans War.

The six-day visit to Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo by the Price of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, was meant to bring healing and reconciliation between the countries in the region, according to the Associated Press.

At the couple's final stop of the tour at Prizren, where he was hosted by the Sinan Pasha Mosque, the Serbian Orthodox Church of St George, and the Roman Catholic Church of our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Prince Charles was greeted by a throng of people, including children excitedly waving flags and clapping.

"I listened this morning to some of the families who has lost their loved ones - missing persons. I know there are so many still in this country," Prince Charles told the crowd.

"They asked me if I could help, I wish I could do more. It seems to me there is so much unnecessary death and destruction around the world.

"We see it all the time now in the Middle East. It is utterly heart-breaking. It is utterly pointless. Yet now we have an ideal opportunity to rebuild bridges."

"I understand the appalling agonies, the dreadful experiences, the pain but in order for countries which have been through such utter horror to recover, that has to be part of the building the new foundation," said Prince Charles.

"I pray that those courageous people that cross the bridge to the other side win the day in the end.

"So I pray that as a result of meetings like this and all the marvellous work that's being done by so many courageous people, Kosovo will have a really special future.

"I'm so proud my country, the United Kingdom, has been able to play a small part in the renewal of Kosovo."

Before visiting Prizren, Charles and Camilla met with relatives of some of the 1,668 people who have been missing since the country's conflict in 1999.

Charles was awarded the Order for Peace, Democracy and Humanism when he met with representatives from the Red Cross and the EU who are aiding Kosovo in its attempts to identify victims and investigate mass graves.

The gold medallion and certificate were presented to Charles for his "life long contribution to supporting peace harmony and better understanding between people in Kosovo and beyond."

"Thank you very much - I shall treasure it," Prince Charles said of the honor.

Pam Wright