Cyprus Declares 3 Days of Mourning for Deceased Ex-President Christofias

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 5, 2011 file photo, Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias speaks during a news conference focusing on his government's domestic policies at the Presidential Palace in the divided island's capital Nicosia, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

NICOSIA (AP) — The Cypriot government has declared a three-day period of mourning for the east Mediterranean island's former president, Dimitris Christofias, who died at the age of 72.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Saturday that Christofias' funeral will be held with honors befitting a sitting head of state.

All Cyprus flags on public buildings will be flying at half-staff and government functions have been cancelled until the funeral Tuesday which has been declared a public holiday.

Books of condolence will be opened at all Cypriot diplomatic missions and President Nicos Anastasiades along with his entire cabinet will attend the funeral.

Christofias died Friday after a month-long hospital stay with severe respiratory problems.

Christofias who led the communist-rooted AKEL party for over two decades, was elected in 2008 to a single five-year term.