NICOSIA: Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades named university lecturer Christoforos Fokaides as defence minister Thursday following the sudden death of his predecessor last month.
Fokaides, 40, teaches political science at the European University of Cyprus and is a member of the ruling right-wing Disy party's executive bureau.
He studied economics and Turkish history at Cyprus University before doing post graduate work at the University of Kent.
Before his appointment, he had been due to take up a visiting scholarship at Yale University in the United States.
Fokaides' key task will be to shepherd through parliament a government proposal to restructure the conscript-based National Guard and reduce service from 24 months now to 18 months and then 15 months.
Fokaides' predecessor, Tasos Mitsopoulos, died aged 48 on March 22 after suffering an extensive brain haemorrhage, only a week after being appointed in a cabinet reshuffle. (AFP)