Presidential Commissioner continues meetings in London, focuses on missing persons issue, CNA - CYPRUS/Nicosia, 22/09/2021
Presidential Commissioner, Photis Photiou had a number of meetings in the House of Commons with the chairman of the Cyprus-UK Friends of Cyprus group Sir Roger Gale and members of the group.
Photiou also met with Alyn Smith, SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesperson and Fabian Hamilton, Labour Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament.
A PIO press release said that the Commissioner informed the MPs on developments regarding the Cyprus problem and the tragic aspects of the Missing persons and exchanged views on how to promote the issue at significant decision centres in the UK.
Underlining the significant contribution of the Cypriot community to the British society, Photiou referred to the problems which Cypriots of the Diaspora faced during the COVID pandemic. He also paid tribute to the excellent cooperation of the Cypriot government with the National Federation of Cyprus in the UK in managing the repercussions of the pandemic during the hard times.
He conveyed the Cypriot government’s appreciation to the chairman and members of the Friendship Group for their longstanding support within the House of Commons. They also discussed implementing specific common actions with the support of the UK Cypriot Federation.
Photiou also met with the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat.
The Commissioner informed Tugendhat of the latest developments on the Cyprus problem. He also referred to the missing persons issue and called for Britain’s contribution to put pressure on Turkey to give access to its military archive and open up so-called military areas.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. 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 to their relatives the remains of 492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,510 Greek Cypriots, who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-1964 and in 1974.