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Martyr İbrahim Ramadan, who was murdered in Doğruyol in 1974, and whose remains were found as a result of excavation works carried out by the Committee on Missing Persons, will be laid to rest today (12th February) in a military ceremony at Boğaz Martyrdom.
Four Martyrs, who died as a result of the Greek and Greek Cypriot massacre at Muratağa, Atlılar, and Sandallar villages, and whose remains were recently identified in a mass grave, were laid to rest with a military ceremony held at Muratağa-Sandallar Martyrdom yesterday (28th December).
TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed that the bilateral agreements reached between Egypt and South Cyprus within the framework of South Cyprus visit of Egypt President Sisi will in no way be binding on the Turkish Cypriots and will be considered null and void.
The missing martyr Halil Ziya, who disappeared in Bahçeler village in Larnaca on the 17 May 1964, was buried at Mormenekşe Cemetery with a military ceremony following funeral prayers at Mormenekşe Mosque yesterday (31st October). Ziya’s remains were found by the Committee on Missing Persons.
President Mustafa Akıncı has stated that he has evaluated the work he has done with the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades up until today, and that the negotiators have conveyed their progress on the issue of property. He said that it is now time to make a decision.
The President made the statement following his latest meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades, on his return to the Presidential Palace, which stated that the second year of negotiations had now come to an end.
The statement explained that the leaders gave instructions to the negotiators on what should be done in advance of the next meeting to be held on 17 May, stating that the negotiators would come together a few times and work intensively until that meeting.
Indicating that more than 60 leaders’ meetings and more than 150 negotiators’ meetings had been held in 2 years, Akıncı said that numerous committees have been working on many areas during this period.
Akıncı expressed that there were some outstanding issues in the negotiation process, and that the leaders should make a decision about whether or not they will reach an agreement.
Stating that the material that they had accumulated now brought them to the decision stage, Akıncı stated that there was a time table even if the name was not given.
Reiterating that the Turkish Cypriot side’s determination to find a solution is well known and it has been proved many times, President Akıncı underlined the importance of policy determination, political will and the need to prove them rather than a time.
Akıncı added that if this is required, political determination will be displayed in the forthcoming period, because no one wants these efforts to fail. Akıncı expressed his wish that the days ahead bring good news, adding that he is also responsible for sharing even the negative news with the people of the TRNC.
UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide has stated that he had encouraging meetings with high level officials of some international institutions on the island yesterday, adding that these institutions are ready to provide active financial support after a settlement. He said that this development indicates that both leaders and people on the island have great support in reaching a settlement, stressing however, the negotiation process should be carried out by the leaders.
Indicating that no one from the UN is considering arbitration Eide noted that there was not a UN plan.
Eide said that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is encouraging him and the leaders to redouble their efforts, and not to miss the opportunity. He said that it is possible to reach a settlement, however this will require serious leadership and hard work.
President Mustafa Akıncı and Eide had a two-hour meeting ahead of the leaders’ meeting. Making statements to the press, Eide said that he had a comprehensive meeting with President Akıncı regarding the issues on their agenda.
Stating that enormous progress has been achieved in the negotiations process despite some difficulties, Eide said that international developments are also a factor. Eide also emphasized that the progress that has been achieved so far should not be wasted because of the crises and stalls that might be experienced.
Eide said that two years have passed since the first meeting of leaders within the negotiations process, and that existing improvements should not be wasted just because of any possible crisis. He also underlined that time should be used wisely to make further progress.
Members of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 8-9 May.
Members met with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and with other authorities.
From 24 April to 5 May, 3 members of the CMP, including Paul-Henri Arni and two Cypriot researchers, studied both confidential and public documents at the UN archives dated 1963/4 and 1974. This research helped discover burial places of missing persons in Cyprus.
It was announced that one more visit will be needed to complete the study of archives in New York. That trip will be the part of a more comprehensive investigation undertaken by the CMP that will include studying archives from the United Nations and the International Red Cross Committee as well as from 12 other countries.
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Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.