Cyprus President and T/C leader discuss missing persons issue
Nicosia, Jul 03? Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat discussed on Monday the issue of missing persons as well as issues related to the Cyprus problem, during a meeting of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP), on the occasion of the official taking over of the duties of the Third Member of the Committee by Christophe Girod.
The meeting lasted about one and a half hours at the residence of the UN Secretary General?s Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller, in the UN-controlled buffer zone, near Nicosia airport.
President Papadopoulos said ?as you know, today was a meeting for the welcoming of the Third Member of the Committee on Missing Persons. Both Mr. Talat and myself have expressed our great support for the work of the Committee.?
?It is purely a humanitarian issue and there is no room for any political exploitation by any community, so I think it was a good meeting. I hope the Committee will be intensified both in the rate of exhumations as well as to the investigation of the fate of the missing in addition to whatever exhumations may take place,? he added.
Asked if he would meet Mr. Talat in the near future, he said ?there is no dogmatic or other reason for not seeing Mr. Talat as long as there is a program of what the meeting will come to. As repeatedly stated by us we stand by the arrangement made in Paris for meetings to be set up for discussing substantive issues, core issues of the Cyprus issue as well as other matters and if there is progress on that why not.?
Asked how the Turkish Cypriot side will go forward as regards the technical committees, agreed to be set up at a meeting in February in Paris, Mr. Talat said ?we are ready to go with the proposal of the UN. As I said, I twice confirmed our readiness with letters to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. We are ready for them?.
Asked whether he agrees with the agenda for the technical committees, he noted that ?it was a proposal from the United Nations and we accepted it, we approved it.?
Mr. Talat also said that ?first of all, as expected, we exchanged views on various issues and we decided to give support to the work of the Missing Persons Committee and also for the international community and the EU for raising more funds for the work of the committee. This was the subject of the meeting. So, as I said, we exchanged views on various issues regarding the Cyprus problem also, and it was a very good and sincere discussion.?