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€200,000 set aside to investigate 1974 missing

President Nicos Anastasiades presenting honorary awards to relatives of missing persons

THE government has set aside an additional €200,000 for research into Greek Cypriot civilians missing since 1974, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday.

He made the reveal during a ceremony in Nicosia where honorary diplomas were presented to relatives of civilians who are still listed as missing since the events of the summer of 1974.

The funds, Anastasiades said, would go toward hiring experts to scour the archives of various countries as well as of the United Nations for any information pertaining to missing persons.

Of the 617 civilians listed as missing, the remains of only 155 have been identified and been laid to rest, the president said.

The vast majority of the relatives still carry the burden of uncertainty, he added.

Now, emphasis will be placed on utilising information which for years had not been accessible due to the fact these documents were classified.

These documents belong to various nations, but also the United Nations.

With the passage of time, some of the documents have been declassified.

Anastasiades recalled that he and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have jointly appealed to anyone to come forth with information on missing persons from both communities, promising immunity from prosecution or other legal liability.

Due to the positive climate in the ongoing peace talks, he said, some progress was recently achieved in this area, with Turkey allowing the investigation of 30 new sites located in military zones in the north, over the next three-year period.

But in order for this gesture to have true value, the president added, researchers must be given access to archives and be allowed to carry out on-site inspections.

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