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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

(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.

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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. (Read more Cyprus stories.)

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