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Relatives of Turkish Cypriot missing give blood
2003-08-01 15:19:17

Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriots have come forward and given blood to help the process of identification of remains, exhumed in the government controlled areas of the Republic by a team of experts and with the approval of the Cyprus government.

''I can confirm that Turkish Cypriots, living in the northern Turkish occupied areas, have come forward to give blood. There is a great interest on the part of the Turkish Cypriots and already scores of them have applied to various departments to get information about their relatives and to give blood for the identification of remains,'' Nicos Theodosiou, President of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons, has said.

Speaking after a meeting with President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, Theodosiou said the President assured Committee members that he would be personally involved in this humanitarian issue and will follow on a continuous basis developments.|

''We had a very useful, very good and positive meeting and we shall work together to solve this problem,'' he said.

Replying to questions, Theodosiou said the President intends to raise the issue of missing persons to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at their meeting in September, on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

Over the past three years, the government has exhumed remains from two local cemeteries with a view at identifying them and returning them to the families concerned. So far more than 100 remains have been identified, some belonging to Greek Cypriot soldiers, others to Greek nationals and others to Greek Cypriot civilians.

The government has appealed to Turkish Cypriots to give blood to facilitate the task of identification by the DNA method.

CNA/MM/RG/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

01/08/2003

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