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G/C representative to CMP: if grave located, exhumation should begin
2005-01-07 10:37:27

Nicosia, Jan 7 (CNA) -- Actual exhumation of remains of persons listed as missing should begin, if current exploratory investigation in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus locates a mass grave, Elias Georgiades, representative of the Greek Cypriot side to the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) has said.

Speaking to CN? after Friday's meeting of the CMP, he said that a foreign expert involved in the current investigation, working for the British INFORCE foundation, told the meeting that so far nothing has been located in the area of Trahonas, north of the capital Nicosia.

''If a mass grave is found, then its size will be defined through scientific methods and the CMP will decide the next step, which would normally be to have INFORCE carry out an actual exhumation,'' Georgiades told CNA.

He said that half of the designated area, which the Turkish Cypriot side pointed out as a possible burial place, has already been examined and no grave has been located.

The CMP, he said, decided to extend the stay of INFORCE experts in Cyprus in order to enable them to conclude their present task.

Responding to questions, Georgiades said he and adviser Xenophon Kallis visited on Thursday the area near Trahoni.

He said that archaeologist Popi Chrysostomou is on site all the time and working in cooperation with INFORCE experts.

Georgiades said that at today's meeting the Turkish Cypriot side presented some reports from investigations it had carried out in the occupied areas, which will need to continue.

He appealed to everyone to bear in mind that this issue is very sensitive and demands hope, a lot of patience and care.

''We owe this not only for the unhindered continuation of the effort that has begun but also for the support of the relatives of missing persons, whose rights are respected by everybody,'' Georgiades added.

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