No new information in 2019 about missing persons, Photiou tells CNA

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has told the Cyprus News Agency that up to date there has been no new information on where missing persons remains could be located.

He appealed on all Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to come forward with any information they may know without any fear.

Photiou has been asked by CNA on the progress so far of work by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

Unfortunately, all concerns expressed in public in recent years that the matter of the missing persons is on a stagnation course, are confirmed, he noted.

There are still 850 Greek Cypriot missing persons while in 2018 there have only been 10 identifications of missing persons, the Presidential Commissioner added. ?n 2017, he went on, the remains of 48 missing person were identified. He added that we have nothing before us which confirms locating new remains.

This, he pointed out, ought to concern us and the matter of the missing persons is truly in a critical stage, because time is our worst enemy.

He appealed to all Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to come forward with information with no fear. Photiou further acknowledged that there is a number of people who provide such information, adding however that it is not always correct.

The Presidential Commissioner also said that in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry a diplomatic effort is ongoing through the United Nations and the EU in order to apply pressure on Turkey to be persuaded to give access to information it has on this humanitarian issue.

According to data provided on the CMP website, the total number of missing persons is 2,002 of which 1,510 Greek Cypriots and 492 Turkish Cypriots.

The remains of 681 Greek Cypriots and 246 Turkish Cypriots were identified until January 31, 2019, while 829 Greek Cypriots and 246 Turkish Cypriots are still missing.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.

The CMP is a tripartite intercommunal investigatory committee comprising a representative of the Greek Cypriot community, a representative of the Turkish Cypriot community, and a Third Member nominated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and appointed by the UN Secretary General.

Source: Cyprus News Agency