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Leaders to visit missing persons lab on July 24

Relatives of Greek Cypriots missing since 1974 (Archive photo)

Τhe leaders of the island’s divided communities have agreed to jointly visit the anthropological laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) on July 24, before their meeting on the same day, the United Nations said on Monday.

This was announced by UNSG`s Special Representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim, after Monday’s meeting of President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in the UN protected zone in the area of the old Nicosia airport.

The visit had been agreed last Friday without however setting a date.

Noting the leaders met “in a positive and friendly atmosphere”, Buttenheim said that the leaders instructed their negotiators to conduct an additional special meeting on the issue of confidence building measures, and also on the methodology and the way forward, based on the proposals submitted by both sides, with a view to preparing suggestions for the next leaders meeting.”

The CMP is a bi-communal body established in 1981 by the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities with the participation of the United Nations.

Following the establishment of an agreed list of missing persons, the CMP’s objective is to recover, identify, and return to their families, the remains of 2001 persons — 502 Turkish Cypriots and 1,493 Greek Cypriots — who went missing during inter-communal strife in the 1960s and the 1974 Turkish invasion.

The CMP employs a bi-communal forensic team of more than 60 Cypriot archeologists, anthropologists and geneticists, who conduct excavations throughout the island and anthropological and genetic analyses of remains at the CMP Anthropological Laboratory.

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