President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday he was shocked by the death of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe who was recently assassinated, as he signed the condolences book opened for him at the Japanese embassy.

“I am shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,” he wrote.

“In these difficult times, on behalf of the people, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and myself, I would like to express our deepest condolences and sympathy to his family and to the friendly people of Japan. We share your sorrow and loss.”

Anastasiades said he had had the privilege of working with Abe, who he described as “a great and influential leader who will always be remembered for his dedication and commitment to the well-being of his people, the revitalisation of Japan’s economy and the promotion of democracy and human rights on a global scale.”