Veteran Cypriot leader Spyros Kyprianou dies

Former President of Cyprus Spyros Kyprianou died yesterday in a Nicosia hospital at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. The veteran politician was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with low blood pressure and respiratory problems before his condition rapidly deteriorated yesterday afternoon. He had been diagnosed last summer with pelvic cancer which spread to his lungs. Known for his hardline opposition to the division of Cyprus, Kyprianou is credited with instigating the island’s «economic miracle» during his 1977-1988 presidency following the 1974 Turkish invasion. The London-trained barrister was the island’s first foreign minister after Cyprus gained independence from British rule in 1960 and established the center-right party Diko in 1976. His succession of Archbishop Makarios as president of Cyprus in 1977 confounded skeptics, who regarded him as a stopgap leader, as he stayed in power for 11 years. Kyprianou’s funeral will take place in Nicosia on Thursday. Greek and Cypriot leaders expressed their condolences yesterday.

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