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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-22

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President briefs families of missing

  • 1440:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President briefs families of missing

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides today briefed the committees of relatives of missing persons in Cyprus on tomorrow's exchange of information between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    Representatives of the two communities will meet at the residence of UN resident representative Gustave Feissel, in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia, after an agreement reached in July last year between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    The Greek Cypriot side will be represented by Takis Christopoulos, Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner, and the Turkish Cypriot side by Rustem Tatar, also participating in the UN Investigatory Committee on Missing Persons.

    It was also announced today that the UN chief will soon appoint the third member to the investigatory committee. The position has been vacant since the retirement of Swiss former Red Cross official, Paul Wurth, some three years ago.

    Sources here told CNA that the third member of the tripartite committee will be a Swiss veteran diplomat.

    The Greek Cypriot representative to the Committee is Elias Georgiades.

    After the hour-long meeting with President Clerides, Reverend Christoforos expressed the conviction that the road for a solution to this problem has opened and said the desired results will be reached if July's agreement is respected.

    Nicos Theodosiou, representing the second committee of relatives of missing persons, said President Clerides shares their view that all steps to solve this issue must be taken cautiously. He expressed hope that the third member to the Investigatory Committee will be appointed soon.

    Asked to comment on reports that the information to be handed over tomorrow by the Turkish Cypriot side only concerns persons who fell in battle, Theodosiou stressed that "we will speak about names only when we have the remains returned."

    Rev. Christoforos pointed out that identities will be established after DNA tests are carried out.

    The July agreement stipulates that "the two leaders agree to provide each other immediately and simultaneously all information already at their disposal on the location of graves of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons."

    The two leaders had designated a person for the exchange of information paving the way for making the necessary arrangements leading to the return of remains of the persons in question.

    Both the UN and Christopoulos described tomorrow's meeting as an important step in implementing the July agreement.

    A total of 1619 Greek Cypriots and Greeks were listed as missing persons since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern part.

    The other side listed some 500 Turkish Cypriots as missing since the 1963 communal clashes on the island.

    CNA KN/MA/GP/1998
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    cna2html v1.04c run on Thursday, 22 January 1998 - 14:05:10 UTC