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Cyprus Foreign Minister calls on Turkey to Fulfill Obligations of the ECHR
2008-09-18 15:01:06

Nicosia, Sep 12 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou has called on Turkey to fulfill its obligations emanating from international law and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning the issue of missing persons in Cyprus.

Mr. Kyprianou, who visited the Anthropological Laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) and the Judicial Genetics Laboratory of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, pointed out that the issue of determining the fate of missing persons was independent of efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, since it is a humanitarian issue and should be prioritized as such.

He noted that the government would discuss the issue of missing persons with other countries and international organizations, and pointed out the significance of the technical and financial support of efforts to speed up the procedures.

Mr. Kyprianou said the issue of missing persons was not limited to exhumations, and brought up the responsibilities of Turkey.

''We want Turkey to meet its obligations emanating from international law and the ECHR decisions, and cooperate in determining the fate of persons who went missing,'' he said.

Referring to his two visits, Mr. Kyprianou said ''it was a very interesting and shocking experience,'' adding that the work being carried out regarding the exhumation and identification of remains was very important, both for the families of the missing persons as well as the Cypriot society as a whole.

''It is a very difficult task and especially time-consuming. The government supports this effort in every way,'' he said and expressed appreciation to all those involved.

CMP, a tripartite committee comprising representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities and a UN appointed representative, is involved in a process of exhumation and identification of remains of missing persons in Cyprus. It was set up in the early 1980s and in the recent past it has stepped up its work to help resolve this humanitarian issue.

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