Christodoulides-Tatar express full support to CMP’s work, UN says

The leaders of the two communities expressed their full support for the effective work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, as well as their acknowledgement and appreciation for the work carried out by the members of the Committee, the personnel of the anthropological laboratory and all the staff involved in the Commmittee’s work, said the Head and Coordinator of the Good Offices Mission of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus, Sergiy Illarionov, on Friday, following the visit of the President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar to the CMP.
In a media statement, Illarionov said that “the two leaders reaffirmed their conviction that the CMP conducts a purely humanitarian work, emphasized the importance of insulating the CMP from political considerations, and called upon all concerned not to politicize this crucial work.”
He added that “both leaders called upon persons who have information on possible burial sites to share it with the CMP, reminded witnesses that they can request confidentiality for any information shared, as credible information can accelerate the whole process of location, exhumation and identification of remains of missing persons”, and further highlighted “the need to unceasingly continue with efforts for the location and identification of all missing persons.”
Finally, Illarionov said that “the two leaders reaffirmed their mutual understanding that CMP’s responsibility lies first and foremost with the families of missing persons, as it brings closure to the affected families through the return of the remains of their loved ones for proper burial in accordance with their own religious traditions and practices.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
Since 1974, 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.
According to statistical data published on the CMP website by June 30, 2023, of 1510 Greek Cypriot missing persons 741 were identified and 769 are still missing. Out of 492 Turkish Cypriot missing persons 292 were identified and 200 are still missing.