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Former U.S. Ambassador To Bulgaria James Pardew Dies At Age 77

James Pardew
James Pardew

James Pardew, who served as U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria from 2002 to 2005, has died at the age of 77.

Pardew, who also was involved in negotiating the Ohrid Agreement in Macedonia in 2001 and in the U.S. peace missions to Bosnia and Kosovo in the mid-1990s, died on June 2 in Arlington, Virginia.

Pardew was a graduate of Arkansas State University and spent 28 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1994 as a colonel. His positions included director of foreign intelligence and chief of current intelligence at the Pentagon.

Pardew played a key role in the negotiations of the Dayton accords, the peace agreement reached in 1995 that ended the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 1997, then-President Bill Clinton named Pardew as U.S. representative for military stabilization in the Balkans with the rank of ambassador at the State Department.

He served as deputy special adviser to the president and secretary of state for democracy in the Balkans during the conflict in Kosovo and the implementation of the peace agreement from 1999-2001.

He went on to serve as the U.S. negotiator in the process that resulted in the Ohrid Agreement in 2001 in what is now North Macedonia, averting a deepening of conflict in the region.

During Pardew’s term as U.S. ambassador in Sofia, Bulgaria joined NATO and agreed with the United States on a joint military training facility in Bulgaria.

After his term as ambassador ended, Pardew was openly critical of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who he said effectively destroyed the country’s political opposition through intimidation, local corruption, and alleged vote-buying at the community level.

Among Pardew’s books is Peacemakers: American Leadership And The End Of Genocide In The Balkans.

Based on reporting by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and The Washington Post

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