Dozens of countries are likely to agree soon on international rules for returning property stolen by the Nazis, a US official said Wednesday.
More than 30 countries will hold talks Thursday in Prague on draft guidelines regarding restitution, said Stuart Eizenstat, a special adviser to the US Secretary of State on Holocaust issues.
If agreed to, they would be the first international rules ever, Eizenstat said. He said he hoped the rules, which would not be legally binding, could be announced in early June.
"This is the first time in which this difficult issue has been addressed," he told the Associated Press.
Eizenstat said the principles should allow flexibility and other possible means of compensation in cases where a return would be neither practical nor fair because someone else had been using the property for decades.
The Nazis seized billions of dollars of gold, art and private and communal property across Europe.