Relatives of missing Cypriots have a right to know their fate, says EU Commissioner
Nicosia, May 2 - The European Commission shares the pain and grief of all the families in Cyprus missing one or several of their relatives who disappeared during the unrest in the 1960s and the Turkish invasion of 1974, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn has said.
In a written reply to Cypriot Member of the European Parliament, Ioannis Kasoulides, on the issue of a 5-year old boy Christakis Georgiou, one of the youngest persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion, Mr. Rehn expresses the Commission's support to the efforts of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), established in 1981.
''The Commission shares the pain and grief of all the families in Cyprus who miss one or several of their relatives who disappeared during the unrest in the 1960s and until 1974. Since then, over 1500 Greek Cypriots and some 500 Turkish Cypriots have been missing. Relatives have a fundamental right to know what became of missing persons,'' Mr. Rehn notes.
The Commissioner also recalled that in a press release issued on 7 March 2007 in relation to this case, the CMP said it ''wishes to reiterate its commitment to following-up on and investigating any information throwing new light on the fate of missing individuals''.
He then noted: ''The EU supports the efforts of the Committee, including financially. Under the EU aid program for the Turkish Cypriot community, €1.5 million has been earmarked for its work.''