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Cyprus

President: come to me with information on the Missing

Leonidas Pantelides, the new Greek Cypriot member of the Committee of Missing Persons

President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday called on anyone with information on missing persons from the intercommunal troubles of the 1960s and the Turkish invasion to submit it to him personally promising discretion.

During the ceremony for the appointment of Leonidas Pantelides as the new Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), Anastasiades called on members of the public who may possess information that could help locate missing persons within the government controlled areas to go to him.

He gave reassurances that he would not reveal the source of information to anyone.

This, he said, would contribute “to tackling the problem concerning the Turkish Cypriot missing persons”.

“I hope the other side keeps the same constructive attitude,” Anastasiades said.

He added that Turkey must realise that she is not absolved of her responsibilities on this issue.

“We call on her once more to abide by her legal and moral obligation based on international law and cooperate for effectively investigating the fate of the missing persons,” he said.

Allowing access to the archives of the Turkish military and giving the opportunity to relatives of missing persons to bury their loved ones, he said, may probably be “the most important confidence building measure”.

“What does Turkey have to lose by behaving in a humane manner after 45 years?” he asked.

Addressing Pantelides, Anastasiades said he believed the CMP member was fully aware of the weight of responsibility and the importance of the position he was assuming.

“You will act with particular sensitivity and despite any problems and difficulties, you will intensify efforts for solving this humanitarian issue.”

Pentelides pledged to work to tackle some internal weaknesses and external obstacles that have slowed down the effectiveness of the whole effort.

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