There is a new Greek Cypriot representative on the Committee on Missing Persons, with media reports saying his predecessor had raised a number of questions prior to his departure.
President Nicos Anastasiades assigned another CMP member, Nicos Theodosiou, as interim representative for the Greek Cypriot side. CMP’s former representative Nestoras Nestoros stepped down from his position after his contract expired due to non-renewal.
Theodosiou served as Executive Secretary at the Organization of Relatives of Missing Persons of Cyprus from 2012 until 2015, and since then he had been working as an assistant to Nestoros. He also chaired from 1994 through 2012 a group advocating for the relatives of the Missing and made statements to the media saying “time was running out” and that blanket immunity was necessary if people could be convinced to come forward with information.
Theodosiou has also pointed the finger at Turkey, saying that significant progress could be made if the Turkish army was to grant CMP access to military zones in the north.
The former CMP representative said Turkey was to blame for the drop in the number of discoveries of human remains in recent years but 'the Greek Cypriot side could have done more'
But his predecessor took things a step further according to Philenews, that reported Nestoros had been trying to set up meetings with the President as well as the Foreign Minister to discuss CMP matters.
Nestoros was reportedly waiting to brief Anastasiades and FM Nicos Christodoulides on a number of issues as well as seek guidance on possible actions locally as well as overseas.
The former CMP representative had also said Turkey was to blame for the drop in the number of discoveries of human remains in recent years but also stated on several occasions that “the Greek Cypriot side could have done more” according to Philenews.
A recent debate within Greek Cypriot officials was whether or not top secret documents should be shared with the relatives of the Missing. The discussion took centre stage after a Nicosia court recently ruled against the Republic of Cyprus and in favour of the relatives of a missing person, after the judge found that the state did not investigate or prosecute a disappearance case adequately dating back to the 1960’s.
The foreign minister has also reportedly took an initiative to put together a panel of experts who could draw on information gathered in both communities. The team will be made up of people who have been involved with the issue and “know people and situations” Christodoulides was quoted as saying according to Philenews.
Nestoros had reportedly drafted a chart to address problems in information gathering, such as weak spots in depositions and witness statements.
The CMP operates on a bicommunal mandate and was set up in 1981 with consent from both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, aimed to recover and identify the remains of missing persons without getting into politics.