Missing persons aspect has special position in Cyprus talks, says President Anastasiades

The subject matter of the missing persons will hold a special position in the context of the negotiations to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem, President Anastasiades said on Monday evening, expressing the hope at the same time that they will resume soon.

One “cannot envisage a solution of the problem without having specific and concrete results indicating what happened to our missing persons,” he noted.

President Anastasiades was addressing an event for the launch of a book by President of the Pancyprian Organisation of the Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons Nicos Sergides entitled “Dossier: The Missing Persons of Cyprus.”

“As you are aware, as a result of the actions taken in every direction the committee on missing persons will visit London and the UN Archives so that any possible information can be acquired,” he said.

At the same time he underlined that “we will never stop raising this dramatic aspect of the invasion and our countrys bitter history in every forum and level.”

Referring to the effort to find a solution to the Cyprus problem and reunify the island which has been divided since the Turkish invasion and occupation of its northern third in 1974, President Anastasiades said that what is sought through the negotiations is for the “country to be a state of peace and prosperity, a state where democratic institutions, human rights are implemented throughout and where there are no more people hurting like the relatives our missing persons.”

In an address by Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos delivered on his behalf by Archimandrite Gregorios an appeal was made towards Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot “authorities” to show a spirit of mutual understanding and to cooperate in a consensual spirit in order to ease the common human pain suffered by both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot families for decades.

On his part House of Representatives President Demetris Syllouris stressed that one cannot imagine the solution of the Cyprus problem without a resolution of the humanitarian issue of the missing persons.

“It is the inalienable right of missing persons relatives to be informed about what happened to their loved ones since their whereabouts were lost while they were defending the Republic of Cyprus,” he noted.

On his part the author of the book said that he is not certain whether the efforts of the association have helped and to what degree deal with the problem of the missing persons.

What is certain, Sergides added is that our long-term tragic predicament and our uncompromising position to be informed with persuasive evidence of what happened out our relatives has obligated international organisations to start speaking about taking practical steps against enforced disappearances, including missing persons cases.

It has also included them in the remit of the most serious war crimes and crimes against humanity for which there can be no statute of limitations, he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. A Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) was established, upon agreement between the leaders of the island’s two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives. So far 750 missing persons from both communities have been identified and returned to the families for a dignified burial.

Source: Cyprus News Agency