President Anastasiades and President Akinci held their final meeting of the year on Sunday.
The two community leaders visited the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) anthropological laboratory in Nicosia, earlier on this morning.
Both leaders were briefed on progress made so far. They recorded an appeal to all Cypriots to come forward with information to identify potential burial sites. Their appeal will be broadcast on television across the island.
Greek Cypriot member of the CMP Nestoras Nestoros, said that the joint visit demonstrated the leaders’ interest in discovering the fate of those who went missing. ‘It also sends a message that we must continue to work together to be able to give answers in relation to the fate of missing persons, especially to their families… mothers, fathers”, he said.
Regarding the recent decision by Turkey to allow excavations in military zones in the North, Nestoros said some of these would be in ten sites at the top of the list, to be investigated in 2016. He added that 30 military zones had been identified.
“Investigations are already at an advanced stage and is expected that in January new documents will be submitted [to the CMP],” he added. Nestoros said he hoped for better results next year.
A UN announcement said that both presidents had assessed the negotiations which began in May, 2015. They said that they were satisfied with the progress made so far. However, they acknowledged that the road ahead was difficult, but remain determined to keep the momentum going in their forthcoming meetings in the New Year.
The dates for the next round of meetings are 7, 14 and 29th January.
“Keeping in mind that a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus will be an example for the broader region, the leaders express their sincere hope that 2016 will bring peace, security and prosperity in Cyprus and beyond”, the UN statement concluded.