President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides reiterated today that the Government approaches the missing persons' issue with urgency as 'time is running out.' The President of the Republic received on Monday morning the President of the Pancyprian Organisation of the Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons, Nicos Sergides, and the President of the Panhellenic Committee on Missing Persons, Maria Kalbourtzi. Speaking after the meeting Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis stressed that it is not possible 49 years after the Turkish invasion of 1974, to have persons whose relatives do not know their fate. He explained that in this context, the President of the Republic understands and embraces the concerns of the relatives, thus the state should speed up and encourage more efforts towards resolving the issue. Maria Kalbourtzi said, the meeting was of informative nature and they briefed the President on the latest meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe that they attended in Strasbourg. She also said that they discussed organizational and planning issues related to the upcoming initiatives of the two Committees in view of the completion in 2024 of 50 years since the missing persons problem appeared as a consequence of the 1974 Turkish invasion. "Such a humanitarian issue cannot continue for 50 years" she pointed out, stating that the two Committees want to bring up the issue not only in Cyprus and Greece, but also on international level. Nicos Sergides noted that they exchanged views with President on the current status of the issue of missing persons and in relation to actions that should be put forward. Sergides emphasized that the President of the Republic has positions and suggestions which they discussed. It was agreed, he added, that everyone should become even more active abroad, especially in Europe and within the EU so that the desired outcome can finally be achieved as soon as possible. He also said that the President has repeatedly emphasized that time is running out and that this is an urgent issue that should finally be resolved.
Source: Cyprus News Agency