WASHINGTON – United States Vice President Joseph Biden told Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in a phone call that he regretted the loss of civilian life in the 1999 NATO bombing campaign and during the wars of the 1990s, the White House said in a release on its website Thursday.

Biden and Vucic talked over the phone on Thursday, and the occasion was Serbia’s commemoration of 17 years since the start of the NATO bombing of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The U.S. vice president commended Prime Minister Vucic for his vision in working to build Serbia’s European future.

“The leaders reiterated the importance of the close ties enjoyed by United States and Serbia and agreed on the need to maintain momentum on the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue in the interest of promoting stability and prosperity for all people in the region,” the release said.