Greek Cypriots Elect Prez Committed to Unifying Isle

Cyprus leaders already agree to hold talks
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 4:00 AM CST
A Supporter of Communist President-elect Dimitris Christofias waves a flag in front of a Che Guevara flag during a victory rally at Eleftheria Stadium in Makedonitissa, Cyprus, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Greek Cypriots have elected a communist president committed to reunification with the Turkish northern section of the divided island. Dimitris Christofias, educated  in the old Soviet Union, won 54% of the vote in a race against his right-wing rival. The new leader has promised to hold negotiations with the president of the Turkish part of Cyprus, who has already agreed to begin talks, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Christofias campaigned on finding a solution to the decades-old Cyprus conflict that would "reunite the state, the people, the institutions and the economy." In 2004 Greek Cypriots rejected a United Nations plan to reunite the island divided since 1974. The self-styled Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized by Turkey, covers 38% of Cyprus and includes most of the 250,000 Turks among the million inhabitants of the island.