The members of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) plan to visit Britain next week for meetings with various UK government departments, agencies and NGOs and interviews with British Cypriots in search of information for burial sites.
The CMP members will seek assistance in collecting information concerning persons missing since 1963-64 and 1974, through various archives and files in the UK.
Greek Cypriot representative Nestoras Nestoros of the CMP and Turkish Cypriot representative Gülden Plümer Küçük, will stay in the UK for another three days, between March 20 to 22, to carry out confidential individual meetings with members of the Cypriot community of London, who can offer valuable information to them.
The Committee believes that they can access important information in cooperation with the Cypriot community in the UK, to help in identifying missing persons and possible burial locations, thus offering some answers and closure to the relatives of the missing, who have been waiting for so many years in uncertainty.
“Undoubtedly, many years have passed since the events of 1963-64 and 1974 and the CMP hope that our expatriate compatriots will respond to this plea for information to get results for this purely humanitarian problem that remains an open wound for us all, ” the CMP said in a statement.
“The members believe that the time has come for our expatriate Cypriots to illuminate the path of our efforts with the knowledge they may possess, thus sending a positive message to the new generation, that cooperation and mutual understanding are elements necessary for the future of our country and its people,” the statement adds.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots went missing during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, most of them combatants but also women, children and elderly people. During the same period and in the early 1960 when intercommunal fighting broke out Turkish Cypriots went missing too.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.