Today out of the 1510 Greek Cypriots who have gone missing, a total of 758 remain missing, Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Sunday, speaking at the annual memorial service for Andreas Polykarpou held at the church of Ayia Marina Chrysochous, in Paphos district.

He added that the establishment of the fate of every single missing person is a top priority for the government as well as for the President of the Republic himself.

Letymbiotis said that as time goes by it becomes more and more difficult to solve this humanitarian problem, recalling that the responsibility for creating and maintaining this problem lies with Turkey, which continues to refuse to cooperate honestly in establishing the fate of the missing persons. Turkey defies, he noted, the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights as well as those of other international organizations.

The Spokesman said that Cyprus calls for an end to this unacceptable situation. “We expect the United Nations, the European Union, but also the powerful nations worldwide to put an end to the drama and pain of the relatives of the missing persons,” he stressed, reminding that resolution 3450 of the UN General Assembly in 1975 highlights as a basic human need of the families, to have information about their missing relatives.

He also underlined that the Government remains committed “not to give up  until the fate ovfevery single missing person is ascertained”.

“Half a century of occupation of European territory with the citizens of this place deprived of basic human rights, 50 years in total. The current state of affairs cannot be the future of our country, it cannot be the solution of the Cyprus issue. It is exactly for this reason that we are working to restart meaningful talks from the point where they have been interrupted”, he pointed out.

“Substantial talks that will lead to the resolution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the agreed framework” he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. 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 to their relatives the remains of 492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,510 Greek Cypriots, who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-1964 and in 1974. 

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