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Relatives urge Greece to place issue of missing before EU
2003-05-06 10:55:23

Nicosia, May 6 (CNA) - The Pancyprian Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons calls on the Greek presidency of the European Union to place before the EU the humanitarian issue of missing persons, in order to exert pressure on Turkey, which aspires to become a member of the block, and to stress that the pending for 29 years issue is a flagrant violation of human rights.

After the exhumation and identification of remains in the government-controlled areas of the Republic, the Greek Cypriot missing persons since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island stand 1,586, while 500 Turkish Cypriots are still listed as missing.|

The Committee's President, Nicos Theodosiou, told a press conference today that the easing of restrictions on the free movement of people across the divide creates new prospects for gathering information regarding specific cases of missing persons.

Theodosiou said the Committee has asked for a meeting with President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos to discuss an action plan to exploit the so-called ''good will'' shown by the Turkish occupation regime with the easing of restrictions.

He added that the Committee may ask the President to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to discuss the issue of missing persons, noting that it was up to the government to decide how to handle the Committee's proposals and developments on the island over the past few days.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


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