In light of the anniversaries of the 1974 coup and Turkish invasion of the island, President Nicos Anastasiades, gave assurances on Tuesday that the state will continue its efforts, despite all difficulties, to investigate and ascertain the fate of all missing persons, on the basis of official documents and evidence.
In his address, read out by Labour Minister, Kyriacos Koushos at a memorial site for the missing persons of Cyprus in Kornos village, Anastasiades noted that the fate of 775 Greek Cypriots and Greeks, who went missing has not yet been established, Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported.
He also said that the Turkish side still refuses to cooperate and provide information to the Committee on Missing Persons, in order for there to be further progress in the investigations.
In light of this, Anastasiades called on anyone that may possess information about missing persons, that will lead to establishing their fate, to come forward.
He noted that by cooperating to help discover the whereabouts of missing persons will contribute to the creation of a climate conducive to any effort for substantial negotiations that will create the preconditions so that Cyprus becomes a really sovereign and independent state, a peaceful and prosperous state, with security for all of its citizens.
Anastasiades said that together with the Presidential Commissioner and the Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons, they are trying to enhance the efficiency of the efforts being made.
He added that by undertaking intense diplomatic activity and by utilising Cyprus’ participation in various decision-making centres and international fora, “we have achieved to raise more awareness and exert more pressure, for Turkey to undertake its responsibilities”.
The Committee on Missing Persons was established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning to their relatives the remains of 492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,510 Greek Cypriots, who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-1964 and in 1974.
“We demand both from the UN, the EU and the international community in general that Turkey abides by its legal and moral obligation on the basis of the international law and cooperate for an effective investigate of the missing persons’ fate,” he concluded.