STOCKHOLM, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt Monday called on Greek and Turkish Cypriots to start fresh negotiations to reunite the island.
The minister made the call when he congratulated Demetris Christofias on becoming the new president of Cyprus, Radio Sweden said.
The reunification of Cyprus is not only good for Greek and Turkish Cypriots, but also makes it easier for Turkey to join the European Union (EU), Carl Bildt said in a statement.
He added that Sweden is one of the EU members in favor of Turkey's accession to the bloc.
Cyprus Parliament Speaker and General Secretary of the left-wing AKEL Demetris Christofias won a crucial runoff and was proclaimed the island state's new president Sunday night.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened and occupied the north of the island following a coup by a group of Greek officers who pushed for a union with Greece.
In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot authorities split from the Greek side and set up the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey.
In a referendum in April 2004, Greek Cypriots rejected a comprehensive settlement plan put forward by then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan amid fears it would favor Turkey, while Turkish Cypriots approved it.