The Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders on Thursday issued a joint appeal for information on the fates of missing persons from both communities, one of the most painful chapters in the island’s history.
“We call on everyone who might possess information on possible burial sites of missing persons, to share this information with the Committee on Missing Persons without hesitation. We guarantee that their confidentiality will be fully respected. We believe that this is a humanitarian duty that should be fulfilled,” said the joint statement, read by United Nations Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide after the leaders’ meeting.
The missing persons issue is one of the most painful chapters in the history of Cyprus, the statement said.
“Healing this open wound at the earliest is important in terms of easing the pain of the missing persons’ relatives.”
President Nicos Anastasiades said later that it was the first time such a statement was made.
He said they had visited the anthropological lab with former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, but no statement was made.
Anastasiades said he hoped anyone with information would pass it on to the authorities, reiterating their assurance for confidentiality.
The two sides had reported 2,001 missing persons – 1,508 Greek Cypriots and 493 Turkish Cypriots.
According to its website, the CMP has so far exhumed the remains of 962 people and has identified 579 – 439 Greek Cypriots and 140 Turkish Cypriots.