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Media Watch 2003

08 May 2003
Source: Cyprus News Agency
Comment: The following a report of the Cyprus News Agency of 8 May 2003.
President says missing persons' issue of primary importance

Nicosia, May 8 (CNA) - President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos said today that the issue of missing persons and its solution on the basis of internationally safeguarded human rights was an issue of primary importance for the Cypriot government.

Addressing a massive gathering at the Nicosia Airport checkpoint in Nicosia, in the context of the 19th Missing Persons' Love Marathon, Papadopoulos said the problem of missing persons was always a clearly humanitarian issue and as such it will remain.

In his speech, read out by Minister of Foreign Affairs Georgios Iacovou, the President said it is in this approach that we insist on the position that the fate of every missing person must be determined. President Papadopoulos said that ''no one can accept that a missing person is dead on the basis of guesswork, unconfirmed information and above all unfounded evidence'', adding that as long as it is up to us, we will make every effort to obtain progress on the issue.

The gathering adopted a resolution addressed to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, calling on him to renew his efforts to determine the fate of the missing persons and to take all necessary measures to oblige the Turkish side to cooperate to this end.

The resolution also calls on Annan to indicate the need for the substantial investigation into the fate of every missing person on the basis of the July 1997 agreement between the two sides and the suggestions of the UN Human Rights Committee in the report of its session this year.

Today's event was organised by the Missing Persons' Love Marathon Institution, the Coordinating Committee of Cyprus Youth Centres, students' organisations and the ''Pericles Demetriou'' Runners' Association, representatives of which also addressed the gathering.

House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias said it is necessary for the government to continue its cooperation with the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons, and to proceed to immediate actions that will lead to the better studying of the issue and the promotion of its solution.

In his address, read out to the gathering by President of the House Displaced, Enclaved and Missing Persons Committee Aristophanis Georgiou, Christofias expressed support to efforts to determine the fate of each and every missing person.

President of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons Nicos Theodosiou said that the Nicosia Airport checkpoint venue for the gathering was symbolic, because ''the Kyrenia checkpoint and Kyrenia represent the liberation of Cyprus and the restoration of human rights of all Cypriots''.

He added that all new facts should be utilised by the government and the political leadership towards the solution of the issue.