Presidential Commissioner discusses missing persons issue with Greek and Cypriot relatives' Committees, CNA - CYPRUS/Nicosia 10/06/2021
Presidential Commissioner, Photis Photiou, held a meeting on Thursday with Chairperson of the Panhellenic Committee of Parents and Relatives ofUndeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons of the Cyprus Tragedy, Maria Kalmpourtzi, who is currently in Cyprus representing the families of the Greek missing persons at the 36th Marathon of Love for the Missing.
According to a press release by the Presidency, the meeting was also attended by Nikos Sergides, Chairman of the Cyprus Committee of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons.
During the meeting, they discussed about the missing persons issue and the common position was that this humanitarian problem is at a critical juncture which carries very serious risks.
They all stressed that it is unacceptable that after so many decades, there are about 800 cases of Cypriot and Greek missing persons pending.
The press release says that they stressed that for this reason urgent measures and initiatives must be undertaken to address the problems and challenges and noted that time passing is the worst enemy of this humanitarian problem.
They agreed that actions to resolve the problem should be immediate and effective, saying that they are working in this direction.
Moreover, they noted that further actions will be decided in consultation with others involved in Cyprus and Greece as well as with organised groups of families.
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. So far, the remains of 712 Greek Cypriots and 282 Turkish Cypriots were returned to their families. In 2020, the remains of 25 individuals were identified and remains belonging to 10 people were exhumed in various excavations.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY