US should assume more humanitarian initiatives, Photiou tells PSEKA videoconference
CNA - CYPRUS/Nicosia 30/09/2020
At this critical juncture the need for the US to assume a more active involvement and humanitarian initiatives is more than urgent, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has said referring to the humanitarian issue of the missing persons in Cyprus.
In his intervention at the International Coordinating Committee - Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), videoconference celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Cyprus, Photiou said that sixty years later there is strong and growing political desire and commitment to deepen and broaden our ties with the United States, in all areas.
"We highly value US interest and active involvement in the efforts to end tensions in our naval zones and resume negotiations to achieve a comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus Question, together with solving long-awaited humanitarian issues which are still pending, such the heartbreaking and painful humanitarian tragedy of the Missing Persons," he said.
Photiou recalled that 46 years since the Turkish invasion, around 800 Greek Cypriots are still missing as well as two American citizens noting that progress on this serious problem during the past few years is disappointing, to say the least.
He pointed out that Turkey, as the state responsible for their disappearance, according to the relevant European Court of Human Rights’ judgments, is in a position to provide the evidence and information concerning their fate from its military archives and that the Turkish Government has the legal and moral responsibility to co-operate.
"I feel that at this critical juncture the need for the US to assume a more active involvement and humanitarian initiatives is more than urgent," he stressed.
Referring to the Independence anniversary of October 1st, he said it carries a meaning and significance that transcends time, which is still relevant today: The constant effort of a small island-country to meet the adversities and challenges in its turbulent region and to survive against the aggressiveness of its powerful neighbour.
"Indeed, 60 years later, we remain proud to live in a country that not only survived, but thrived through the past decades, against all odds", he went on to add.
Photiou also thanked the indispensable contribution of the Diaspora in raising awareness on the criminal injustices committed by Turkey in Cyprus.
"We owe them a great debt for their active and very constructive engagement in providing an effective context 60 years since the formation of our state, for continuing the preservation of our identity, for promoting our rich culture, history and traditions in the US, as well as for sending the clear message that Cyprus remains one of the most predictable, reliable and stable partners of the US in the key region of the eastern Mediterranean" he concluded.
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.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY