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European Parliament President David Sassoli has died at the age of 65, his spokesman says.

robert cuillo announced the news on twitter, writing that mr sassoli passed away at 1:15am on 11 january at a hospital in aviano, italy.

He had been there since 26 December "because of a serious complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system", his office announced on Monday.

eu council president charles michel described mr sassoli as a "sincere and passionate european".

we already miss his human warmth, his generosity, his friendliness and his smile,"

Mr Sassoli left a three-decade career in journalism and became a member of the European Parliament ( MEP ) in 2009.

In taking the role, he became the seventh Italian to hold the office and his term was due to end this month.

Mr Sassoli was married to Alessandra Vittorini and leaves behind two children.

He was initially hospitalised in Strasbourg in September 2021 with pneumonia and missed the EU's State of Union.

the italian had been seriously ill in hospital for more than two weeks due to a dysfunction of his immune system.

he was a member of the centre-left progressive alliance of socialists and democrats, the second-biggest grouping in the parliament.

No details were offered by spokesman Roberto Cuillo beyond Sassoli's death at 1.15am on Tuesday in Aviano, a city in northeastern Italy.

A vote to elect his replacement had already been planned for later this month, and Mr Sassoli had indicated that he would not seek re-election.

The former television newsreader became president of the 705-seat European Parliament in July 2019.

He was the second Italian president since the assembly was elected by universal suffrage.

I am deeply saddened," MEP Ismail Ertug wrote on Twitter.

He won another term in 2014 and served as the Parliament's vice president.

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