Agreement on Missing Persons – July 1997

United Nations Press Release Concerning Missing Persons in Cyprus

(Nicosia, 31 July 1997)

At their meeting this evening in the presence of the Chief of Mission of the United Nations Operation in Cyprus, the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities agreed to issue the following statement concerning missing persons in Cyprus:

The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities consider the problem of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons in Cyprus as a purely humanitarian issue the solution of which is long overdue.

The two leaders agree that no political exploitation should be made by either side of the problem of the missing persons and they pledge to work for its solution in order to terminate the agony and the uncertainty of the families of the missing persons, both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot.

The two leaders respect the right of the families of the missing to be informed of the fate of their loved ones in a convincing and conclusive manner to the best extent possible.

The two leaders recognize the right of those families whose missing loved ones are proved to be dead to have, to the best extent possible, their remains for proper burial in accordance with their religious traditions and practices.

In line with the above, the two leaders agree, as a first step to resolving the problem of the missing persons, to provide each other immediately and simultaneously all information already at their disposal on the location of graves of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons.

The two leaders will each designate a person who, by the end of September 1997, will exchange the information referred to in the previous paragraph and will prepare the necessary arrangements leading to the return of the remains of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons in question. The two leaders also agreed that the remains of persons known to have been killed in action on either side will be returned to their families. The First Assistant to the Third Member of the Committee of Missing Persons will assist as necessary.

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Both leaders requested the Secretary-General to appoint a new Third Member of the Committee in Missing Persons (CMP) in order to expedite the conclusion of the work of the CMP.