We will continue efforts to establish the fate of missing persons, President says

Anastasiades said on Saturday, noting that this is a key issue as regards “the solution of the Cyprus problem weve been pursuing.”

President Anastasiades said that Turkey refuses to provide information on a humanitarian issue such as the issue of missing persons, and referred to a war crime “which they have tried to cover up by dislocating remains, so that the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) work becomes more difficult.”

“We will insist and continue” our efforts, he noted, reiterating at the same time his will to end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus.

The President stressed that “our goal and aim is to create a state that fully and completely abides by the principles and values of the UN and the EU, in which Cyprus is a full member.”

He also noted that although he has made it very clear to the UN Secretary-General that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to return to the dialogue for a settlement, at the same time he has set the Greek Cypriot sides limits and “outlined the conditions under which we could be hopeful about a new Conference on Cyprus.”

He noted that good preparation is needed, adding that “we need to finally know the positions and not wait until the last moment to see that Turkeys intransigence remains unchanged.”

He also expressed hope that those who can influence Turkey will realize that peace and stability in the region also depend on their own interventions and encouragement towards a country which by ignoring ECHR judgments and the international law, continues to insist on occupying Cyprus.

President Anastasiades pointed out that his goal since the day he undertook his presidential duties has been to restore justice in Cyprus and turn it into a country which will contribute to security, stability, peace and cooperation among all states in the region, meeting the expectations of its people and securing their future on the island.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-backed negotiations, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively in July 2017.

A Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) was 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.

According to data posted on the CMP website, the remains of 637 Greek Cypriot missing persons and 210 Turkish Cypriot missing persons were identified and returned to their families until November, 30, 2017. A total of 873 Greek Cypriots and 282 Turkish Cypriots are still missing.

Source: Cyprus News Agency