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24 May, 2024
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Head of Humanitarian Affairs visits CMP laboratory

A ray of hope for grieving families

Newsroom / CNA

Head of Humanitarian Affairs for Missing and Enclaved Persons, Anna Aristotelous, on Monday visited the Anthropological Laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), expressing the wish that the tireless actions of the staff there would soon ease the pain of the families who are demanding to be given the remains of their loved ones.

According to a written statement by the Presidency, Aristotelous was welcomed by the Greek Cypriot representative at the CMP, Leonidas Pantelides, who accompanied her to the laboratory premises and explained to her the difficult work of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot anthropologists and geneticists “who work with professionalism, teamwork, zeal and dedication for locating and identifying the missing persons of Cyprus”.

Aristotelous congratulated the anthropologists and geneticists “for the extremely difficult humanitarian work they carry out”, it said, adding that locating and identifying the remains of missing persons relies on their professionalism and wished that their tireless actions would soon ease the pain of the relatives who are demanding to be given the remains of their loved ones for proper burial in accordance with the religious traditions of G/Cs and T/Cs respectively.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Since the Turkish invasion, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown. 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 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

According to statistical data published on the CMP website by October 20, 2023 out of 2002 missing persons 1,205 were exhumed and 1,034 were identified. Out of 1510 Greek Cypriot missing persons 742 were identified and 768 were still missing. Out of 492 Turkish Cypriot missing persons 292 were identified and 200 were still missing.

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  government  |  missing

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