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Spanish Premier expresses interest in Cyprus' missing persons question
2005-04-01 11:48:15

Nicosia, Apr 1 (CNA) -- Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rondriguez Zapatero has expressed his personal interest and his government's support for the solution of the humanitarian issue of the missing persons in Cyprus.

Zapatero's support was included in a letter to the Committee of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners of War and Missing Persons. The letter was handed over to the Committee by Spain's Ambassador in Nicosia Jose Manuel Cerverade Gongora, a Committee press release says.

The Spanish premier assured the Committee that the missing persons question was high on his agenda, expressing his government's readiness to assist efforts for a solution to this humanitarian issue, the press release adds.

The Committee representatives briefed the Spanish Ambassador on developments in this question, thanking Zapatero for his personal interest and support.

The Cypriot government has submitted to the tripartite Committee for Missing Persons, comprising one representative from the Greek Cypriot side, one representative form the Turkish Cypriot side and a UN envoy, for investigation 1493 cases of Cypriot and Greek nationals listed as missing, a number that includes women, children, elderly persons and members of the National Guard.

Of the 1493 cases, the remains of 14 missing persons have been identified through the DNA process when the government of the Republic embarked unilaterally on a process of exhumation and identification of remains. ?he CMP now has before it 1479 cases to investigate.

There are also another 107 cases of Greek Cypriot and Greek missing persons whose files have not been submitted to the CMP and whose families have been informed as to the reasons why the specific files were not presented to the CMP. The Cypriot authorities continue to investigate these cases.

In addition to that, there are 50 cases of Greek Cypriots missing since the 1963-64 period, when inter-communal fighting occurred.

The CMP has the files of 500 Turkish Cypriot missing persons from 1963-64 and 1974.

The Greek Cypriot side has handed to the CMP information on more than 350 cases of Turkish Cypriots listed as missing, which gives full account as to the fate of these persons

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