Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said on Saturday he was resigning as leader of the communist party AKEL to focus fully on talks to reunite the long-divided island.
"After 20 whole years the time has come for me to pass on the baton," he told an AKEL congress in a speech.
"My obligations as president do not allow me to serve the party as general secretary to the extent that I would like and that circumstances demand."
Christofias, who became the secretary-general of Akel in 1988, was elected as the president of Greek Cyprus earlier this year.
The next meeting of the Cyprus leaders is scheduled for Monday, and is expected to be the last such session this year.
Cyprus joined the EU as a divided island when Greek Cypriots in the South rejected the UN reunification plan in twin referendums in 2004 even though the Turkish Cypriots in the north overwhelmingly supported it. The promise made by EU foreign ministers before the referendums to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and establish direct trade with North Cyprus remains unfulfilled.
Last Mod: 22 Aralık 2008, 08:53