Committee on Missing Persons attempts to identify the remains of 2,001 individuals.
President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglou have agreed to jointly visit the anthropological laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) on July 24, before their meeting on the same day, the United Nations said this week.
This was announced by United Nations Special Representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim, after Monday’s meeting of the two leaders in the UN protected zone in the area of the old Nicosia airport.
The visit had been agreed last week, without however setting a date.
Noting that the leaders met “in a positive and friendly atmosphere”, Buttenheim said they instructed their negotiators to conduct an additional special meeting on the issue of confidence building measures, and also on the methodology and the way forward, based on the proposals submitted by both sides, with a view to preparing suggestions for the next leaders meeting.
The Committee on Missing Persons is a bi-communal body established in 1981 with the participation of the United Nations.
Following the establishment of an agreed list of missing persons, the CMP’s objective is to recover, identify, and return to their families the remains of 2,001 persons – 502 Turkish Cypriots and 1,493 Greek Cypriots – who went missing during inter-communal strife in the 1960s and the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The CMP employs a bi-communal forensic team of more than 60 Cypriot archaeologists, anthropologists and geneticists, who conduct excavations throughout the island and anthropological and genetic analyses of remains at the CMP Anthropological Laboratory.