President of Cyprus pledges government to continue efforts to help ascertain fate of the missing persons

President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has reassured that despite the problems that exist, the government will continue its efforts to end Turkey’s unacceptable stance that is a challenge to civilised humanity.

In a speech at a gathering on Wednesday of the Organisation of the Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons in Larnaca district , President Anastasiades said the government will continue its efforts to ascertain the fate of the missing. He assured that this is the government’s main aim.

He also pointed out that the answer to the drama that the relatives of the missing persons are facing is one of the fundamental elements of a solution to the Cyprus issue.

President Anastasiades criticised Turkey for insensitivity and arrogance and trying to cover up this inhumane crime by moving the remains of the missing, destroying the graves and deliberately destroying and refusing to provide evidence to the competent authorities. These facts, he explained, coupled with the time factor and natural environmental changes, “significantly limit our ability to provide the necessary answers to the questions of the relatives of our missing persons.”

He said that after decades of guilty silence and as a result of government efforts with countries that have good relations with Cyprus, Turkey agreed to allow excavation work to be carried out within 30 military areas located in the occupied areas.

However, he said, the Committee on Missing Persons still faces many problems and the whole effort is slow without sufficient evidence and information available for burial sites.

President Anastasiades said that the government appealed to the UN and third countries to provide access to archives that will enable information on the missing to be found that will contribute to achieving further progress in ascertaining the fate of the missing persons.

The President noted that it is not merely Turkey’ that is responsible but also Council of Europe countries which are constantly granting postponement of Turkey’s obligations according to judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Decisions, he noted, that remain unimplemented because there is a tacit conspiracy to tolerate an unacceptable crime, be it occupation or the investigation of the fate of the missing, a purely humanitarian problem.”

He assured the relatives that only through unity we will be able to find a solution and provide answers to the relatives for the fate of their loved ones.

House of Representatives President Demetris Syllouris, in his speech, referred to last week’s handing over of the archives of the Hellenic Parliament’s inquiry on the Cyprus File, expressing the hope that it contains evidence that will contribute in the efforts to ascertain the fate of the missing.

Vice President of the Hellenic Parliament, Georgios Varemenos said we are not going to compromise with the tragedy of the missing nor accept this misrepresentation of history.” He also assured that Greece will stand by Cyprus.

In his speech, Archbishop Chrysostomos II appealed to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership to show compassion to the common pain of the two communities for four decades and urged them to cooperate to bring an end to the humanitarian drama of the missing persons.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots went missing during the invasion.

According to the CMP 792 missing persons from both communities have been identified and returned to the families for a dignified burial.

Source: Cyprus News Agency