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Glafkos Clerides Is Dead

Former president of Cyprus, Glafkos Clerides died just minutes ago.

Mr Clerides, 94, was admitted to a private clinic in Nicosia on Thursday morning in critical condition. The condition of his health was critical and non-reversible, his doctor told reporters, yesterday.

Glafkos Clerides was president of Cyprus from 1993 to 2003. During his two terms as president, Mr Clerides forged closer ties with Greece and brought Cyprus to the brink of EU membership, which it finally joined in 2004.

During World War II, he served in the British Royal Air Force. In 1942 his airplane was shot down over Germany and he was captured. He remained a prisoner of war until the end of the war.

He was a member of the EOKA organization that sought the liberation of Cyprus from British Rule and participated in the struggle under the pseudonym "Ypereides". During that period he defended numerous EOKA fighters arrested by the British. One of his most famous accomplishments was a preparation of a dossier that enumerated and provided evidence of instances of Human Rights violations by the Imperial administration of Cyprus and its agents.

From 1961 to 1963 he held the position of President of the Cyprus Red Cross. In recognition of his outstanding services he was awarded a Certificate of Honour and Life Membership in recognition of distinguished services to the Red Cross.

On 23 July 1974, Clerides temporarily assumed the duties of the President of the Republic, in accordance with the Constitution, after the fall of the Athens junta backed coupsters and the subsequent Turkish invasion.

In 1976 he founded the right wing Democratic Rally (Demokratikos Synagermos). He was a candidate for the presidency of Cyprus six times and elected to two five-year terms, in 1993 and in 1998. In 1998 his main opponent was Georgios Iakovou. He was defeated in the 2003 presidential election by Tassos Papadopoulos.

He is the author of the autobiographical overtoned depiction of 20th century Cypriot history, My Deposition, in four volumes.