Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2007

02 February 2007
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author: Angelos Marcopoulos
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 2 February 2007.
EU Presidency determined to solve missing persons drama
"THE German EU Presidency will do its best to help bring forward unresolved core Human Rights issues,'' Peter Wittig, the Director General for Human Rights at Germany's Foreign Ministry, said here yesterday."

"THE German EU Presidency will do its best to help bring forward unresolved core Human Rights issues,'' Peter Wittig, the Director General for Human Rights at Germany's Foreign Ministry, said here yesterday.

He was responding to my question about the anguish of the relatives of the 1,500 Greek Cypriot missing in the wake of the 1974 Turkish invasion who are still waiting to hear from Turkey about the fate of their loved ones.

Wittig noted that Turkey's persistent refusal to implement the judgement of the European Human Rights Court on the missing was scheduled for discussion at next week's meeting of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg, where Germany leads the 27-member EU group of nations.

"We will do so, simply because this is completely in line with our vision of Europe," Wittig said, making an indirect reference to German Chancellor Angie Merkel's statement earlier in the week before the EU Parliament that "Europe's soul is Human Rights."

Take a stand

"We (the EU) have to take a stand, and say what we think is just," on core Human Rights' issues, Wittig said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the Paris World Congress against the death penalty as the EU Presidency's Representative there. He was concerned that "exceptional'' unresolved grave Human Rights' violations in Europe, such as the drama of the Cyprus missing, "must not damage the credibility of Europe's unanimous struggle against the death penalty.''"