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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-02-05

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The remains of ten Greek soldiers, killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion, are to be repatriated.

    A solemn ceremony to mark the occasion took place Tuesday, at the National Guard headquarters in Nicosia, in the presence of President Tassos Papadopoulos, Defence Minister Christodoulos Pasiardes and the Greek Deputy Defence Minister Constantinos Tasoulas.

    The remains, exhumed and identified through the DNA method, were returned to the next of kin.

    Two of the people identified were listed as missing during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the remaining eight were killed during hostilities.

    If their relatives have the right to be proud of their Greek integrity, Greece and Cyprus have a duty to honor them and vindicate their sacrifice, the Cypriot President stressed in his speech noting, that justice for these heroes is the liberation of the island.

    The President said that these ten officers and soldiers died in a heroic battle against the Turkish invasion forces and today they return home as heroes, to the land they belong.

    Referring to the Cyprus issue, President Papadopoulos said we fight for a solution, but not any solution, we need wisdom and vision, responsibility and faith.

    We fight for true reunification of the people and the land and not for a fragile association of parts of our island, which are divided by force. We fight for a functional and viable solution, for a secure future, not for an insecure tomorrow, he said, noting that Greece has always stood by the side of the Republic.

    This support and solidarity is afforded to Cyprus not as a contractual obligation but as the expression of a national debt, he added.

    The Greek Deputy Defence Minister Constantinos Tasoulas said that everything we have achieved to date, we owe to those people who, being Greeks at heart, were determined to fight and if need die for our nation, for liberty, for our way of life.

    This, he added, is the value of the message of their sacrifice.

    In their statements to the press, relatives of the deceased expressed deep grief, especially for the fact that most of the parents of the missing are no longer alive to witness at least this closure and receive their childrens remains for a proper funeral.

    Officials attending the ceremony and families concerned laid wreaths.

    The remains have been exhumed and identified through scientific means, as part of an ongoing process the Cyprus government initiated in the late 1990s with the assistance of the non governmental US- based organisation Physicians for Human Rights.

    The purpose of the process is to establish the fate of missing persons. The remains have been exhumed in the southern government controlled part of the country and were subsequently identified by the DNA method.


    The European Union will soon have its own home in Cyprus. The ``House of Europe`` in Cyprus is established in cooperation with the corresponding House of Europe in Rhodes, Greece. To celebrate the occasion a special event is being organised in cooperation with the Information Centre Europe Direct on February 8, in Nicosia.

    European Parliaments Vice President Rodi Kratsa Tsagaropoulou will attend the event and give a speech titled 50 years of European integration the role of civil society.

    Back in 1950, a movement of citizens across Europe who began integrating financially decided to set up a Houses of Europe federation. At present the number of Houses of Europe is 120. Each country has the right to create one or more Houses provided it secures the cooperation of an existing House. The House of Europe aims, inter alia, to inform citizens on EU issues and decisions that interest them, such as social and financial matters. It also focuses on the promotion and strengthening of relations among European people through culture, fine arts, literature and music.

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