No matter how many years will go by, we will continue to seek answers for the missing persons, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has said.
Speaking at an event in Athens on Monday, to honour the Greek persons who went missing during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the President said that he stands before them feeling deeply emotional and with feelings of responsibility, pointing out that the tragedy of the missing causes pain and ordeal to thousands of families of Greek and Greek Cypriots and constitutes a provocation for the civilised world.
The President pledged that his government will use all the means possible to find the answers to the relentless questions on the whereabouts of the missing persons.
He said that for 42 years, since the Turkish invasion and division of the island, Turkey failed to give answers and to cooperate for the issue of missing persons and in some cases, the Turkish side even removed bones and remains of missing persons.
The President recalled that appeals were made to the UN and humanitarian organisations so that pressure would be exerted on Turkey to give permission for excavations in so called military zones in the island`s occupied northern part.
He further noted that along with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they called on anyone who has information about the fate of missing persons to come forward and report it to the CMP, the Committee for the Missing Persons.
He once again pointed out that he will spare no effort to bring a solution that will reunite the island and expressed his gratitude to the Greek government and the people for their support.
Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that Greece is on Cyprus` side at the struggle for the termination of the Turkish division and the finding of a viable solution.
He said that today we fulfill a national obligation pointing out that his presence at the event along with President Anastasiades symbolise the unity of Hellenism, especially when is require to defend our national interests and rights.
He pointed out that the solution must safeguard Cyprus Republic as member of the international community, the EU and the Eurozone.
He also said that guarantees and foreign armies cannot be accepted in a future solution.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.
UN backed talks are underway with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.