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Spokesman: The government is handling the issue of missing persons with caution
2009-08-17 13:13:35

Nicosia, Aug 14 – The government of the Republic of Cyprus considers that Turkey has committed war crimes during 1974 and is handling the issue of missing persons with the necessary caution, to avoid the creation of problems as regards the continuation of the exhumations and the identification of remains.

In statements to the press, on the sidelines of the burial of the remains of Greek Cypriot Yiannis Papayiannis one of the five Greek Cypriot National Guardsmen killed in August 1974 in Chiaos village and whose remains were identified recently through DNA tests, Government Spokesman Stephanou said that the government of the Republic of Cyprus continues its struggle and effort for the implementation by Turkey of the European Court of Human Rights decision regarding the provision of all information with a view to facilitate the ascertainment of the missing persons’ fate.

Spokesman Stephanou, who represented the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias at the funeral, said that the Committee of Missing Persons’ (CMP) Project on the Exhumation, Identification and Return of Remains of Missing Persons in Cyprus must be safeguarded. He also noted that President Christofias and the government fully share the pain of the missing persons’ relatives.

Spokesman Stephanou said the funerals of missing persons’ remains always remind us the atrocities and the crimes committed during the Turkish invasion and which even violated the Law of War.

The Spokesman said the government unreservedly denounces the crimes committed against prisoners and non-combatants during the Turkish invasion by the Turkish troops. “It also denounces the crimes committed by Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot chauvinists, as a result of bigotry and fanaticism,” he added. Spokesman Stephanou noted that these crimes caused huge pain and harm to the country and underlined the need to stop stirring up hatred.

He assured that the government, in cooperation with the missing persons’ relatives will continue to work and make efforts so that Turkey fully fulfills its obligation deriving from the ECHR decision on the 4th Inter State Application of the Republic of Cyprus and cooperate with a view to ascertain the conditions under which these persons went missing.

“The government will continue to make every possible effort so that the work of the CMP is supported and the project of the exhumations and identifications is completed the soonest possible,” he added.

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