Former Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, a political force who dedicated most of his 50 years in politics to reunifying the ethnically split island and guided it to European Union membership, has died. He was 94.

Joseph Kasios, Clerides' personal physician for over a quarter century, said he died at a private clinic early Friday evening.

The country's fourth president, Clerides was a political survivor respected for navigating the Mediterranean island's treacherous politics.

After two failed attempts in 1983 and 1988, Clerides ascended to the presidency in 1993, winning back-to-back elections to hold the post for 10 years. He led the completion of negotiations for Cyprus to join the EU, though he was out of office before it was formally admitted in 2004.