Defence Minister Panos Kammenos pledged on Tuesday to honour all Greeks who fought in Cyprus during the Turkish invasion in 1974 and went missing, during a ceremony to receive the rediscovered remains of six soldiers who were returned by Cypriot authorities.
The five men of the Greek Force of Cyprus and one commando who fell while defending Cyprus during the invasion and the inter-community clashes of 1963-1965 were until recently considered missing. Their remains were exhumed in the free and occupied sections of Cyprus and identified via DNA testing.
“The Greek soldiers show us the path of duty,” Kammenos said during the ceremony and apologized to the relatives of the dead soldiers for taking so long to organize the return of the bodies. He also reassured the relatives of all those who participated in the battles that the ministry will open all the files of those missing to honour them properly.
The delegation that brought the soldiers’ remains to Greece with a C-130 was headed by Alternate Defence Minister Dimitris Vitsas, and accompanied by Chief of Defence, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, the head of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Georgios Basiakoulis and Deputy Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General Dimitrios Thomaidis.