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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-09-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has underlined Turkeys responsibilities regarding the humanitarian issue of Greek Cypriot missing persons, who were declared missing after the Turkish invasion against Cyprus in 1974.

    Invited to comment on press reports about a mass grave of Greek Cypriot missing persons, located in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, Kyprianou said that the information is being investigated by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

    He also underlined that the issue of missing persons is a humanitarian issue adding it has been decided that it should proceed as such, regardless of the course of the direct negotiations held between the leaders of the two communities of Cyprus, with the aim to reach a solution of the political problem of Cyprus.

    The Foreign Minister underlined Turkeys responsibilities, saying that the Turkish army has to allow access to its archives to help efforts to establish the fate of missing persons, especially those who were last seen in Turkey.

    According to government sources, the Cypriot government is aware of the existence of a mass grave of Greek Cypriots in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus. The same sources said that the Cypriot President would raise the issue at the next meeting he will hold with the Turkish Cypriot leader in the framework of UN led direct negotiations which aim at reaching a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The government sources said that press reports on the existence of a mass grave of Greek Cypriots, who were buried by Turkish soldiers in the Lapithos region, are accurate and are included in a testimony given in March 1977, three years after Turkey invaded against Cyprus.

    The Republic of Cyprus has asked for exhumations to take place in the region but the Turkish regime in occupied Cyprus has rejected that request, the sources said.

    As a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion in Cyprus, 1619 Greek-Cypriots were listed as missing, most of whom soldiers or reservists, who were captured in the battlefield.

    Among them, however, were many civilians, women and children, arrested by the Turkish invasion troops and Turkish-Cypriot paramilitary groups.

    Many of those missing were last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military.

    The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus has been engaged in a process of exhumation and identification with the DNA method of remains of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    According to the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners of War, 152 remains have been identified to date, 113 of them were Greek Cypriots and 39 Turkish Cypriots.

    More than 200 exhumations at different locations have been carried out so far and about 500 remains have been recovered. There are still 1506 persons whose fate has not been established.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

    Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in talks since September last year with a view to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem and reunify the country.


    Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou has said that Frances position regarding Turkey is that Ankara must fulfill its EU obligations if it really wishes to continue its EU course.

    The Cypriot Minister was replying to a question as to whether during the meeting between President Sarkozy and the Cypriot President, last week in Paris, there was any agreement regarding Turkeys EU accession course and the forthcoming assessment of its EU accession negotiations.

    The position of the French President is clear. Turkey must fulfill its obligations if it wants to continue its EU course, Kyprianou said, adding that the French government believes that this course should not lead to Turkeys full EU membership. Nevertheless, this does not exempt Turkey from fulfilling its obligations, he continued.


    Cyprus recorded negative growth rate in the second quarter of 2009, according to Cyprus Statistical Services estimations.

    CyStat announced that GDP for the period April -June 2009 shrank 1.1%, compared to positive growth rate of 0.9% in the first quarter of the year.

    Based on seasonally and working day adjusted data, GDP growth rate in real terms is estimated at -0.7%. The contraction of the economy during the second quarter of 2009 is mainly attributed to the very negative growth rates observed in Hotels and Restaurants as well as the negative performance of Manufacturing, Construction, Trade and Transport activities. The Financial Intermediation activities as well as the broad Services sector, which includes also the Public sector, continue to record positive growth rates but at a decelerating rate.

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