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Cyprus Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos Dies

Tasos MitsopoulosTasos Mitsopoulos, appointed last week as Cyprus’ Defense Minister, was pronounced dead on Saturday afternoon by doctors in Nicosia, a day after after suffering a brain hemorrhage and heart attack that left him in an irreversible condition.
The 48-year-old was found unconscious in his office by his secretary around 10:30 am, and was rushed to Nicosia General Hospital, where specialists from Israel and Greece were flown in as consultants, but were unable to save the minister, a father of two. His death was registered at 1:30 pm Saturday.
Upon hearing the news, Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades returned from the EU summit meeting in Brussels and headed directly to the hospital, where a steady stream of politicians and officials arrived throughout Friday as news of the minister’s collapse spread, bringing politics to a halt on the island. However, the Cypriot cabinet will meet at 5pm Saturday to make funeral arrangements, with Defense Ministry officials set to convene at 7 pm.
“His family and Cyprus have lost an exceptional man, an exceptional politician,” Health Minister Philippos Patsalis told local media.
Mitsopoulos had met with the Greek ambassador Vassilis Papaioannou Friday morning and was scheduled to meet with US ambassador John Koening. Until his appointment at the Defense Ministry last week, he had been Anastasiades’ minister for communications and works.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras expressed his sincere condolences to the family of deceased Cyprus Defence Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos, as well as to the people of Cyprus, the Cyprus Republic and the Democratic Rally (DISY) party.
“A great patriot, a good friend and a wonderful person, Tasos Mitsopoulos, Defence Minister of Cyprus, has left us. He was distinguished for his love for Greece and his passion for the Cyprus problem. I am deeply shocked by his sudden death,” Samaras said in a press release.

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