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Glafcos Clerides, ex-president of Cyprus who sought reunification, dies at 94



NICOSIA, Cyprus — Former President Glafcos Clerides, who guided Cyprus into European Union membership and dedicated most of his 50 years in politics to trying to reunify the ethnically split island, died early Friday evening at a private clinic. He was 94.

The fourth president of Cyprus, Mr. Clerides also played a part in negotiations leading to independence from Britain. Over a half-century, he was widely respected for deftly navigating his country's often treacherous politics.

After losing in two presidential elections in 1983 and 1988, Mr. Clerides won the powerful office in 1993 and a second five-year term in 1998. During that time he oversaw the completion of negotiations for entering the EU.

But the Cyprus problem was Mr. Clerides' passion. The island was split into an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

In 2003, Mr. Clerides sought re-election to continue handling reunification negotiations. He lost to Tassos Papadopoulos, who had accused Mr. Clerides of giving too much away during reunification talks.

Glafcos Clerides, ex-president of Cyprus who sought reunification, dies at 94 11/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 15, 2013 10:33pm]
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