. Ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Doherty has called for anyone who has information about the fate of the missing to come forward before it is lost.
A press release from the US Embassy in Nicosia said Doherty visited the Committee of Missing Persons on Monday where she met with the three committee members and visited the laboratory. The Ambassador expressed her appreciation for all the work done by the scientists and investigators. She noted that although the task of finding and identifying the remaining missing persons is challenging, it is vitally important for the families who are still grappling with the daily pain of not knowing the fate of their loved ones.
The Ambassador commended the CMP members, scientists, investigators, witnesses, and others from both communities who have come together to share information and expertise, and bridge differences to work toward a common goal. Their combination of scientific knowledge fused with compassion for the victims and their families is extraordinary, she said.
Ambassador Doherty noted that the leaders of both communities, as well as all the religious leaders of Cyprus, have encouraged those who have information about missing persons to come forward. She recognized the pain and sorrow of the families who still do not know what happened to their loved ones, even decades after the tragic events that took place in Cyprus. “We repeat the call for anyone who has information to come forward before it is lost”, she added.
Since 2007, the United States has contributed more than 845,000 euros to the Committee on Missing Persons, to cover the costs of genetic testing, infrastructure, and equipment. In 2016, we provided an additional donation of over 100,000 euros ($130,000) to cover research into UN and other archives for additional clues that could help determine the fates of the more than 1,100 Cypriots who remain missing.
Hundreds of Greek Cypriots went missing during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, most of them combatants but also women, children and elderly people. During the same period and in the early 1960 when intercommunal fighting broke out scores of Turkish Cypriots went missing too. The CMP, comprising one representative from each community on the island and a UN representative, was set up in the early 1980s with a view to locate, unearth and return remains of persons whose fate has been unaccounted for to their next of kin.