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Missing persons decision has pros and cons, Nestoros says

Officials from the Committee for Missing Persons searching for remains

The decision on missing persons in Cyprus, adopted recently by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, contains positive elements but is also missing some important points, said Nestoras Nestoros, the Representative of the Greek Cypriot side to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

The issue was discussed Thursday morning, at a meeting of the Committee of Ministers, in Strasbourg, charged with the supervision of the implementation of European Court judgments.

Asked by CNA for a comment, Nestoros said the adopted decision “addresses in part” the problems arising from Turkey’s obligations vis-à-vis the Republic of Cyprus to implement Court decisions in relation to Greek Cypriot missing persons.

Among others, in their latest decision, Deputies called upon the Turkish authorities to ensure that the CMP has unhindered access to all possible military zones located in the northern part of Cyprus and to provide the CMP “proprio motu” with any information from the relevant archives, including military archives, in their possession on burial sites and any other places where remains might be found.

Nestoros underlined the humanitarian aspect of the problem, adding that It is important for the Turkish authorities to provide information regarding the bodies collected from the battlefields in 1974. “Turkey should provide this information, without the need for a political decision” on the matter, he said.

Asked to clarify the reference in the decision, that “the CMP will excavate in eight additional military areas in 2018” in the north, Nestoros said these were excavations for which permission has been granted, but which have not taken place yet.


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