In response to a budget extension request made by the Committee on Missing Persons to help cover its increasing identification costs, the European Commission has confirmed to the three CMP Members in Brussels that an ad hoc extension of
358,000 euro had exceptionally been granted.

This is stated in a press release by the CMP, which adds that this budget extension to the Commission`s 2018 contribution of EUR 2.6 million will help cover increasing DNA costs resulting from more complex cases that the CMP has to deal with in order to re-associate human remains that were mixed up in mass graves.

“On behalf of the families of missing persons in Cyprus, the CMP Members expressed their gratitude to the European Commission, by far its largest donor since the project started in 2006”, the press release adds.

It is noted that the CMP Members met in Brussels on 26 and 27th of June with Kjartan Björnsson, Head of the Cyprus Settlement Support Unit at the European Commission.

At the European Parliament, they met with Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Standing Rapporteur on Missing Persons in Cyprus, Cecilia Wikström, Chair of the Conference of Chairs, Raimer Böge, Member of the Committee on Budgets as well as with five MEP from Cyprus, Dr. Eleni Theocharous, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Costas Mavrides and Demetris Papadakis.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. 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 Turkish Cypriots went missing too.

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.

The CMP is a tripartite intercommunal investigatory committee comprising a representative of the Greek Cypriot community, a representative of the Turkish Cypriot community, and a Third Member nominated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and appointed by the UN Secretary General.

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