Activities on diaspora issues, on the basis of a Memorandum of Cooperation Cyprus and Serbia have signed, were discussed on Wednesday at a meeting between the Presidential Commissioner, Photis Photiou, and the Serbian State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nemanja Starović, in the framework of the latter’s working visit to Cyprus.
An announcement by the Presidency says that the Commissioner noted that the aim of the two countries is to bring together their citizens who reside abroad, but also in Cyprus and Serbia and to promote the culture, history and civilization, via various events. He noted that the cooperation in diaspora matters will further enhance bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting Photiou briefed Starović on the issue of missing persons and the lack of progress in determining their fate due to Turkey’s stance, noting that this is unacceptable. The Serbian State Secretary said that his country is faced with the same issue and expressed his sympathy to the families for the pain and their ordeal. They decided to exchange expertise and experiences in this issue in order to contribute to the efforts to present the relatives with answers on the fate of their beloved ones, it is added.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.
A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning to their relatives the remains of 492 Turkish Cypriots and 1,510 Greek Cypriots, who went missing during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-1964 and in 1974.