Greek Deputy Foreign Minister in Cyprus to discuss diaspora cooperation, missing persons
CNA - Adamos Zachariades - Antonios Gkildakis - Greece/Athens 28/01/2020
Kostas Vlasis, the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks abroad, will pay his first visit to Cyprus after assuming his duties, in a bid to strengthen bilateral cooperation on diaspora matters and find ways to highlight the humanitarian issue of missing persons.
Vlasis, who arrives on Tuesday evening for a two-day visit, will be received by the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and will also meet with the President of the House, Demetris Syllouris, and the Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides. On Wednesday morning he will have bilateral consultations with Presidential Commissioner, Photis Photiou.
Photiou told CNA that during the meeting with Vlasis and their associates, they will take stock of the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding they signed and they will review joint initiatives they are planning in countries abroad, where diaspora organizations are active. Moreover, they will discuss trilateral cooperation, with a view to expand these schemes.
“We will also discuss ways for Greeks abroad to help in promoting the humanitarian issue of missing persons,” Photiou said. He noted that this aspect is being included for the first time in the agenda of diaspora cooperation between Cyprus and Greece, in addition to the existing cooperation on a political or diplomatic level.
Photiou said that they will focus on countries, such as the United States, Britain and Australia, who are particularly sensitive on human rights issues. During the meeting, he said that he will present a program on how to engage diaspora organizations in promoting the issue.
While in Cyprus, Vlasis will also pay a visit to the graves of Greek Cypriots hung by the British during the anti-colonial struggle in the mid-50s. He will also visit a military cemetery and war memorial, in Nicosia, as well as the Hellenic Force in Cyprus.
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.
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.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY