NICOSIA - Excavations by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in a fenced military area in the Turkish occupied village of Kontemenos is a positive development the Greek Cypriot member of the committee, Aristos Aristotelous, said.
In statements to CNA, Aristotelous said that this was the first time excavations had been carried out in an enclosed military area, adding that this was made possible due to the efforts of the CMP members.
He also expressed the hope that this development would pave the way for further excavations in other military areas in the occupied area of Cyprus.
"We still have a long way to go. We look forward to the cooperation of all parties involved," he said.
Aristotelous said that the CMP’s work on the exhumation, identification and return of remains to their loved ones is continuing and stressed that the process of identification was moving more quickly than in the past.
Responding to a question, he said that he would brief the new President on the latest developments in the investigation into the fate of missing persons . He also thanked the Cypriot MEPs for their very important work they are doing with regard to the CMP funding.
Aristotelous also said that the programme of exhumations and identifications applied in Cyprus is a model other countries dealing with similar problem are following.
He noted that more than 347 remains of missing persons have been identified and handed over to their families for burial up until today.
He also said that CMP is currently drafting a three-year business plan to best organize its work and determine its financial needs.
The CMP is composed of a Member appointed by each of the two communities and a Third Member, selected by the International Committee of the Red Cross and appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.