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Cyprus File to be handed over on Friday (updated)

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The Greek parliament will on Friday hand over to Cyprus the findings of an inquiry into the 1974 coup to overthrow president Makarios and the ensuing Turkish invasion.

The archives of the Greek parliament’s inquiry will be handed over to the Cypriot parliament during a special session on Friday morning, House president Demetris Syllouris announced on Tuesday.

The Greek parliament unanimously approved the handover on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking in parliament, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the decision was not related to recent developments in the talks and had been taken a long time ago.

He said it was an “unfulfilled debt” towards the people of Cyprus and a tribute to all those who fought and sacrificed their lives during the 1974 coup against Archbishop Makarios and the subsequent Turkish invasion and occupation of part of the island’s territory.

“Twenty-nine years after the Inquiry and 43 years after the invasion, the Hellenic Parliament will provide the full range of these documents to the Cypriot House in order to open… an issue that concerns mostly the Cypriot people and about which the Cypriot people are entitled to know,” Tsipras said.

In January 2016, the Greek and Cypriot parliaments signed a co-operation protocol granting the latter access to material collected during an investigation into the events.

The information, known as the Cyprus File, can be found in the archives of the Greek parliament, but despite repeated requests it had refused to hand it over until now.

From 1967 to 1974 Greece was ruled by a military junta which played a pivotal role in developments in Cyprus, especially during the July 15 coup that triggered the Turkish invasion five days later.

The committee which carried out the inquiry was put together in 1986 following the unanimous decision of the Greek parliament.

It delivered its findings some two years later, in October 1988. The inquiry heard testimony from 86 witnesses and the minutes of its sessions span close to 21,000 pages. Attached to the minutes are documents from various departments.


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