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The New President of Northern Cyprus

Turkish Cypriots have elected Mustafa Akinci as a leader of their internationally shunned Republic. He has pledged to focus his energy on breaking decades of stalemate and achieving an accord that would reunify the small island of Cyprus.

"We achieved change and my policy will be focused on reaching a peace settlement,"- Mr Akinci told thousands of supporters at a victory rally on Sunday,-"This country cannot tolerate any more wasted time."

The new president earned his political colours during a 14-year term as mayor of the Turkish-Cypriot half of the capital Nicosia from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.

Akinci handily defeated hard-line incumbent Dervis Eroglu with 60.5 percent of the vote, final official results showed. The turnout was just over 64 percent of about 177,000 registered voters.

Mr Akinci said that he had already spoken to Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and that they had agreed to meet soon.

"Anastasiades and I are of the same generation... If we can't solve this now, it will be a tremendous burden on future generations,''- he said. Nicos Anastasiades, who heads the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus, in its turn, added,- "At last, our hopes are high that this country can be reunified, I am looking forward to meet Mr Akinci."

During his electoral campaign, Mustafa Akinci received much voices for the ghost town Varosha, which is a very lively topic regarding the Cyprus problem. It was possible to see that Akıncı favoured a settling approach to solve this problem. Regarding Varosha, Akıncı stated that, "Instead of living side by side a corpse let Varosha become a lively city where people live, contractors from both communities do business together and young people can find jobs".

The Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, as the Guardian reports, has long pressed for Varosha, a resort town in the north to be opened up as a goodwill gesture. The town has been under the control of the Turkish army since 1974 when an attempt by Greek Cypriots to pursue union with Greece prompted Ankara to launch a full-scale invasion that saw Turkish troops seize more than a third of the island.

Varosha would open up under U.N. control in exchange for the opening up of Famagusta port to international traffic and allowing direct flights into the north's main airport.

Proponents of the plan have said rebuilding Varosha would be an economic boon to both sides, as rebuilding the suburb would bring in many millions in investments and put thousands to work.

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