Presidential Commissioner to highlight issue of missing persons during contacts in New York

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou will have contacts in New York next month, in an effort to enlist the support of the diaspora, US politicians and Security Council members, in exerting pressure on Turkey with regard to the issue of missing persons.

Speaking to CNA, Photiou said that he will attend on April 20 the conference of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations, in New York and he will represent the Republic of Cyprus at the parade to mark the Greek Independence Day.

Prior to this, Photiou said that an event will take place in New York, in a bid to raise awareness among Overseas Cypriots and Greeks concerning missing persons in Cyprus. US Congressmen, ambassadors and representatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council will also be invited to attend. A relevant photo exhibition will be organized as well.

At the same time, members from Jewish and Armenian lobby organizations in the United States will be invited, as part of Cyprus’ trilateral cooperation schemes on diaspora matters.

It should be noted that five US citizens were among those who went missing in Cyprus, following the 1974 Turkish invasion. The US Congress decided back in 1994 to investigate their whereabouts and as a result the Dillon Report was issued, ascertaining the fate of Andreas Kassapis. The US government said it would continue to pursue any additional leads it receives on the fate of the remaining four US citizens.

Time is the biggest enemy when it comes to the issue of missing persons, taking into account the difficulty to locate remains of missing persons in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus said the Presidential Commissioner.

With regard to Turkey’s cooperation, he said that the US may exert pressure on the issue of missing persons and noted that he will try to inform and raise awareness on this humanitarian issue, while in New York.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.

Source: Cyprus News Agency