The work carried out by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus does not exonerate Turkey from its responsibility, on the basis of international law, to carry out effective investigations into the fate of missing persons, Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said.
Addressing an event here for the presentation of a publication of the Pancyprian Committee of the Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons entitled “Turkey we want our children”, Kasoulides stressed that the government’s goal is to ascertain the fate of each missing person, on the basis of concrete and tangible evidence.
He said that Turkey has a legal and moral obligation to allow access to the archives and reports of its army, so that the CMP can conduct additional exhumations in military zones where there are burial sites of missing persons.
The Cypriot minister further noted that regardless of the Turkish side’s negative stance, the Republic of Cyprus has demonstrated its support to efforts aiming at determining the fate of missing persons. It has done so, he added through its positive approach and continuous support of all efforts undertaken, and by taking many unilateral measures and practically supporting the work of the CMP.
Kasoulides assured that efforts on this humanitarian issue will continue, noting that the Republic of Cyprus supports the work carried out by CMP for the exhumation, identification and return of missing persons’ remains to their relatives.
Referring to the publication he said that he has read it and that his impression of it has been absolutely positive. It includes information and promotes awareness on the various aspects of this issue, he noted.
According to data presented at the end of August this year, the remains of 950 persons have been exhumed from 2006 until today, from a total of 2.001 persons. These include 1.508 Greek Cypriots and 493 Turkish Cypriots. The remains of 419 persons have been identified until today. Their number is expected to reach 470 by the end of the year.