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THE MISSING persons issue is humanitarian and not political, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday.

Speaking after his visit to the Committee for Missing Persons’ Anthropological Laboratory, Talat said he fully supported the lab’s efforts.

He added that the missing persons issue has been in the spotlight for some time and that he is constantly trying to keep it separate from politics.

“The Turkish Cypriot side is doing whatever it can to support this programme,” said Talat. “And to prove it we have carried out this visit. As you know, this is a humanitarian issue and we will not exploit it politically. We have succeeded in this and through this success, the programme is doing well.”

The Turkish Cypriot side, he added, supports efforts to find and identify the missing persons by contributing money and manpower, while a large part of the excavations took place in the occupied areas.

During his visit yesterday, Talat donated $50,000 on behalf of UNDP.

“The Turkish Cypriot side will continue to support efforts to find out what happened to the missing persons, both materially and morally,” said Talat. “I won’t say that an end will be given to the pain of those who lost their relatives, but we feel that we must do what is necessary so these people can at least find peace and we will all work in this direction.”

By Jacqueline Theodoulou, Cyprus Mail, February 24, 2009|||Talat supports CMP’s humanitarian endeavours
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