Missing persons issue a high priority for the government
Nicosia, May 26 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has assured that
the Cyprus government will continue supporting a dialogue with the Turkish
Cypriot side on the humanitarian issue of missing persons in Cyprus, as was
its original initiative.
In his speech, read by Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues Takis Christopoulos, at a special ceremony to honour those killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the missing persons, President Clerides reiterated the government's commitment that "a solution to the issue of missing persons is a high priority issue" to the government of Cyprus.
He said the issue of missing persons "has always been a clearly humanitarian one to us," and it is within the framework of this approach "that we initiated last December a meeting with (Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf) Denktash to discuss especially the issue of missing persons." He added "this initiative is ongoing and we will continue to support it."|
He said, however, that "unfortunately, the issue of missing persons has not been treated as a humanitarian one by the Turkish side", which "has not taken into consideration its international obligations to cooperate in the investigation into the fate of missing persons."
President Clerides referred to the July agreement, in which both he and Denktash said they recognized the right of the families of missing persons to be informed of the fate of their loved ones in a convincing and conclusive manner and to have the remains of those proved to be dead returned to them for proper burial.
He said the July agreement was "very important" since it entails the need for substantial investigation into the fate of each and every missing person and the recognition of the right of their families to be informed of the fate of their loved ones.
He said the latter is established by the European Court of Human Rights' decision of 10 May, 2001, by which it found Turkey guilty of serious human rights violations on the issue of missing persons.