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Spokesman: T/C side must present credible information on missing
2005-01-14 16:15:01

Nicosia, Jan 14 (CNA) --- Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides stressed today that progress regarding the humanitarian issue of missing persons could only be made when the Turkish Cypriot side presents convincing and credible information on the issue.

The Spokesman was commenting on the unsuccessful excavations in Turkish occupied village of Trahonas, that started last week and was completed on Wednesday. The village of Trahonas is one of three sites presented by the Turkish Cypriot side in 1998, where people, killed during the Turkish invasion of 1974, are believed to be have been buried there.

''Progress can be made only with presenting the soonest, before the UN or the International Red Cross, credible data that has been systematically suppressed for decades now by the occupation regime. This is the only way to restore the lost credibility of the procedures and the effort that has started with UN Secretary General's initiative and was fully supported by the Cyprus government'', he underlined.

Chrysostomides noted that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side bear the responsibility for the lack of progress on the issue for so many years now, ''since they do not allow the correct investigation for the fate of the missing, or they refuse to present any information they have on the matter''.

The Spokesman expressed the Cypriot government’s readiness to intensify efforts to ascertain the fate of all missing persons. He accused the Turkish Cypriot side for following a tactic of making verbal commitments to foreign organisations on the issue of missing persons.

This tactic, he said, was recently used by the Turkish Cypriot side before the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, which is examining Turkey's obligation to comply with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.

''This shows not only the non-humanitarian approach of the Turkish side, but also, once again, its complete disregard towards international declarations'', he said.

Chrysostomides expressed the government's discontent since developments have caused the relatives of the missing great disappointment and pain.

The Spokesman noted that all concerned in Cyprus and abroad have the duty to do their utmost so that the necessary procedures are intensified and the relatives of the missing ''receive finally the answers regarding their beloved ones''.

Chrysostomides thanked the INFORCE foundation that has carried out the exploratory investigation in Trahonas.

He also expressed the Government's appreciation for the help offered by the International Red Cross and by the United Nations.

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