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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-09-15
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 15 September 1999
 P>Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis was killed late last night when the airplane he was travelling in on his way to Bucharest for a Balkan conference, suddenly lost altitude in an air pocket, plunging some 17,000 feet just before landing.
Five others died on the plane, including the minister's 23 year old son.
In statements this morning President Clerides said that Mr Kranidiotis' death was a "national tragedy" as he had spent his life working for Cyprus.
"His death leaves a void both in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and promote its entry into the European Union", he said.
Cyprus' Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said he was devastated by the Mr Kranidiotis' death and that of the other victims. He said this was a day of mourning for Cyprus and Hellenism as a whole.
According to Athens News Agency, Prime Minister Costas Simitis expressed deep shock at the news.
"Yiannos Kranidiotis, tireless in his duty, sternly defended with success and without sparing efforts and personal costs, the interests of Hellenism in every corner of the world. He represented Greece with knowledge, skill and determination...His sudden and unjust loss today creates a large and irreplaceable vacuum. We will remember him as a friend and close associate, among the most capable, for whom we will always be very proud", he said.
Greece's President Kostis Stephanopoulos in a statement said: "The loss of Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis takes away from the nation a valuable man who has rendered great services".
Yiannos Kranidiotis was of Cypriot origin, the son of the late diplomat, writer and poet Nikos Kranidiots. He had studied law at Athens and Harvard and served as Cyprus' adviser on EU affairs between 1991 and 1992 and as advisor on the Cyprus problem to the Greek Premier Andreas Papandreou between 1981 and 1984.
From 1984 to 1989 he served as foreign ministry special secretary for European issues. From 1988 to 1990 he was the director of the Greek Centre of European Studies, while from 1991 to 1992 he taught as a professor of international relations at the University of Thrace.
He became deputy foreign minister on July 8, 1994 and in January 1995 he took Christos Papoutsis' seat at the Europarliament when the latter was appointed as Greece's European Commissioner. In 1997 he was once again appointed deputy foreign minister and in February 1999 he assumed his latest government post, as alternate foreign minister.
Mr Kranidiotis was a founder member of the Cyprus socialist party EDEK and a member of Greece's PASOK party since 1976. He was also the author of several books and articles focusing on European, Cypriot and Greek affairs.
 P>The prospect for intercommonunal dialogue, Cyprus' accession course to the European Union and co-operation in defence matters between Cyprus and Greece were the focus of talks in Athens yesterday between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Premier Costas Simitis.
Speaking to the press afterwards, President Clerides said they had reached unanimous conclusions on how to handle issues regarding the proposed intercommunal dialogue.
Mr Simitis underlined the "intense interest" of the international community in a resolution of the problem and pointed to the readiness of the Greek- Cypriot side to come to talks without rules and preconditions, in the framework of UN decisions.
Greece and the international community, he added, place great weight on the stance to be taken by the Turkish side, expecting it to show that it respects the international community and its decisions. "This element will play a definitive role in ensuring Turkey's European vocation," he said.
 P>The plenary session of the 53rd UN General Assembly decided at the end of its deliberations to keep the question of Cyprus on the agenda of the 54th General Assembly which started yesterday.
 P>Cyprus' Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Costas Papademas, on Friday presented his credentials to the President of Tanzania, Mr Benjamin Mkapa as ambassador to Tanzania.
Also last week Cyprus' Ambassador to France, Mr Andreas Mavroyiannis, presented his credentials to the French President, Mr Jacques Chirac.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/