EU contributes 2 million euros to CMP Project
Nicosia, Aug. 11 – The European Union has contributed another 2 million euros to the Committee on Missing Persons Project on the Exhumation, Identification and Return of Remains of Missing Persons in Cyprus.
According to an official announcement issued August 11, the contribution follows the specific request of the European Parliament, adding that the agreement was concluded on August 4, between the European Commission and the United Nations Development Program. The announcement notes that this is the second contribution the European Union grants to support CMP mandate.
The European Union has already contributed 1.5 million euros to the Committee on Missing Persons in 2007. “With these two contributions the European Union is, so far, the largest single donor in support of the Committee on Missing Persons mandated activities which have been proven to be one of the most successful confidence building and reconciliation measures.”
The Committee on Missing Persons project, as it is mentioned, aims at closing a painful chapter in the history of the island and at contributing to the process of reconciliation between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
It is also underlined that the participation of bi-communal teams of scientific, anthropologists and archeologists at all stages of the process as well as the bi-communal composition of the Committee fosters the spirit of reconciliation of the CMP mandate.
“Through this support to the CMP mandate, the remains of at least 500 missing persons are expected to be exhumed, analyzed, identified and finally returned to their relatives,” the announcement concludes.
The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus looks into cases of persons reported missing during the Turkish invasion and during inter-communal fighting in the early 1960s, after Cyprus gained its independence. A total of 502 Turkish Cypriots and 1493 Greek Cypriots were officially reported as missing by both communities to the Committee on Missing Persons, according to the CMP website.
Turkey has so far refused to provide information about the fate of Greek Cypriot missing persons, who were last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military during the 1974 Turkish invasion.