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In Memoriam Glafcos Clerides

16 November 2013 / 23:11:00  GRReporter
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Cypriot veteran in politics Glafcos Clerides who was president of the Republic from 1993 to 2003 and during whose term Cyprus joined the EU without resolving the Cyprus problem, departed from this life yesterday afternoon.

Since the day before yesterday, Kliridis had been in hospital in Lefkosia where he was being treated for kidney failure. His daughter Katie and his closest collaborator Pantelis Kouros were beside him. By Kliridis’s insistence, his life was not maintained artificially.

"The life of Glafcos Clerides was intertwined with the struggle of the Cypriot Greeks who honoured him with his election as President of the Republic of Cyprus. He passionately defended his views, had a national vision and insights which even his political opponents recognized," said Nikos Anastasiadis in his condolence message to the President of the Republic of Cyprus.

"He passed away in a moment which is crucial for the future of the island when it is being tested by the economic crisis. The situation requires a high sense of responsibility of the government and the entire political establishment in Cyprus. We will miss the presence and words of Kiridis. A historical person passed away from the political life of Cyprus," said Karolos Papoulias, President of Greece in his message and expressed his sincere condolences to his family.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras emphasized that "Cyprus lost a great Greek today."

"Kliridis was a pure fighter and noble statesman, a great hero in every battle of our brothers the Cypriots. He participated in World War II, served during the liberation struggle in 1955, and came to the fore as Chair of the House of Representatives and as president of the Republic in a demand for a fair, functional and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem.

He had wisdom and courage, foresight and pure patriotism. He served the island and Hellenism. I express my deep sorrow for his death and sincere condolences to his family," said Samaras in his message.

Chairman of the National Assembly Evangelos Meimarakis also expressed condolences on behalf of the Greek Parliament to the family of Glafcos Clerides and all residents of Cyprus.

"Today, we are saying goodbye to the leading figure of Cyprus' Hellenism, a friend and nobleman who devoted his life to the recent history of Cyprus and participated in the struggle of the Cypriot people for independence, democracy, sovereignty and international recognition of their rights.

Glafcos Clerides was a great leader who stood out in difficult times with his courage and political acumen but also with his diplomatic skills with which he represented the Greek Cypriot side many times in difficult negotiations on the Cyprus issue to the Security Council of the United Nations," said Meimarakis in his message.

"The death of Glafcos Clerides closes a large chapter of the history of Cyprus," said SYRIZA lawmaker Rena Dourou who is responsible for the foreign policy of the party.

"The former President of the Republic of Cyprus identified himself with Cyprus. He belonged to that small category of politicians who whether one agrees or disagrees with them, he would always recognize that they are right," said Rena Dourou.

PASOK also expressed condolences to his family and the Cypriot people.

"Glafcos Clerides linked his entire life with the great national problem of Cyprus. He struggled for many decades, with all his strength and by all his means for a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem. Even death came today, on the day of the 30th anniversary of the proclamation of the pseudo-state, and this is a coincidence that cannot go unnoticed. It is hard for Greeks in Greece and Cyprus to say goodbye to him," said the statement of the Press Bureau of PASOK.

An important person for Cyprus and a noble politician, Glafcos Clerides departed from this life, stated the Democratic Left party.

"The Democratic Left party is saying goodbye to this great person with great sadness, recognizing his great effort to solve the Cyprus problem, but also his contribution to the accession of Cyprus to the European family," said the statement of the party.

Glafcos Clerides was born in Nicosia on 24 April 1919 and is the eldest son of lawyer Yiannis Kliridis.

He fought in World War II

After graduating from high school, he studied in England, and when the war started he enrolled in the British Royal Air Force. In 1942, his plane fell in Germany and he was a prisoner until the end of the war. The "London Gazette" honoured him for his exceptional service.

He studied law at the University of London’s Kings College. In 1951, he became a Barrister-at-Law at Gray's Ιnn. From 1951 to 1960 he was a lawyer in Cyprus.

During the Liberation War from 1955-1959 he served in the National Organization of Cypriot Fighters EOKA under the pseudonym "Iperidis" and defended a lot of its fighters who were captured by the British. He prepared documents for the numerous human rights violations by the British which were presented by the Greek government to the Commission on Human Rights of the Council of Europe

He participated in the London Conference in 1959 and during the transition period from the colonial rule to the independence (1959-1960), he was Minister of Justice. During the same period he was the leader of the Greek Cypriot delegation to the Joint Constitutional Committee.

Speaker of Parliament 1960

In July 1960, he was elected a member and then a chairman of the House of Representatives of the Republic and remained in this position until July 1976. In many cases, he performed the duties of President of the Republic as Vice President Archbishop Makarios during his absence abroad.

Tags: Glafcos Clerides President Cyprus In Memoriam
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