UK grants CMP access to Defence Ministry archives in relation to missing persons in Cyprus

The British government has granted access to the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) to research the archives of the Ministry of Defence for the periods of 1963 and 1974. Access has also been given to the archives of the British Bases in Cyprus.

The third member of CMP Paul-Henri Arni said that in the following months a team will travel to London in order to studay these archives.

Arni on Friday received the British High Commissioner in Cyprus Matthew Kidd who donated 124,000 euro to the CMP in order to carry on with its activities.

Kidd said that CMP is a specialized but a really important part of the settlement process because it relates to people and memories and to settling these memories.

The UK, he added, has been a long standing supporter of its (CMP) work and it is a great pleasure to donate this amount which constitutes the latest manifestation of the support that UK gives to the Committee.

Arni in his statements said the Committee is very thankful to the UK government for this donation and it means a lot for the continuation of CMP’s work to help the families in both sides to end the miserable ordeal.

He also thanked the UK for the response via a letter to CMP’s demand for access to British archives. He added that for this purpose a team of researchers from CMP will travel to London later this year.

The Greek Cypriot member Nestoras Nestoros thanked the UK for the donation saying that it is very important for the work of CMP and its efforts to give answers to the missing persons’ relatives and families.

We hope, he added, to be able to give as many answers as possible to the families of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots.

The Turkish Cypriot member Gulden Plumer Kucuk said that there will be cooperation with all the parties for access to these archives.

A statement by CMP says that the Committee wishes to express its sincere thanks to the United Kingdom for its donation.This brings direct British financial assistance to the CMP to a total of EUR 297,000 over the past ten years.

The statement says that this donation to the CMP Project on the Exhumation, Identification and Return of Remains of Missing Persons in Cyprus will contribute to the Committee’s goal of identifying and returning as many remains of missing individuals as possible in order to bring an end to the uncertainty which has affected so many families for so many years.

So far, according to the statement, 750 missing persons from both communities have been identified and returned to the families for a dignified burial.

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.

Source: Cyprus News Agency