Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is ready to engage with good will in the negotiating process with a view to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said on Sunday, noting at the same time that Turkey has failed to cooperate with a view to solve the humanitarian issue of missing persons in Cyprus.
Photiou’s remarks come a few days before a meeting between the leaders of the two communities, President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, with the UN Chief Antonio Guterres, that will take place on November 25, in Berlin, Germany.
“The President of the Republic, as he has repeatedly declared, is ready to engage with good will in the negotiating process, as determined by the UN Secretary General”, Photiou said addressing the funeral of Doros Charalambous who fell during the 1974 Turkish invasion and whose remains have been identified after DNA tests.
Noting that difficulties and problems to bring about a Cyprus settlement are not underestimated, Photiou added that “with responsibility, prudence and determination we strive for a solution to the Cyprus problem, that could act to the benefit of both communities.”
“A durable and viable solution,” he stated, “without intervention and guarantee rights, a solution which would reunite our country, ending the Turkish occupation, a solution that would lead to a better common future in conditions of freedom, security and joint prosperity, a solution that would be in line with the international law and the principles and values of the European Union and the UN resolutions,” he added.
Furthermore, the Presidential Commissioner reiterated that the issue of the missing persons and all persons who fell during the Turkish invasion and were buried in known and unknown burial sites in the Turkish-occupied areas is of high concern and the aim is to establish the fate of each one of them.
Noting that 815 persons are still missing, Photiou said that Turkey hinders the implementation of the decisions by international courts and other institutions and denies cooperation on a wholly humanitarian issue.
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.
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.
(Cyprus News Agency)