Europe's top security organization has welcomed the Bosnian Serb apology to the families of the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina said the Bosnian Serb apology was a "positive start" to a process that may lead to what the organization called "lasting justice."

Wednesday, the Bosnian Serb government said it "sympathizes with the pain" of relatives of the victims. It expressed "sincere regret and apologies" over the killings of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica.

Bosnian Serb authorities have already accepted a report by a special investigative panel, issued earlier this year, that Bosnian Serb forces carried out the massacre.

The government statement added that Bosnian Serb authorities are committed to bringing to justice all those who committed war crimes.