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Former US Ambassador to Greece, Stearns, dies

TAGS: Diplomacy, Obituary

Monteagle (Monty) Stearns, who served as the US ambassador to Greece from August 1981 through September 1985, has died.

Stearns served in Athens during a testing period in the relationship between the two countries, during the premiership of Andreas Papandreou. Stearns had also served at the US Embassy in Greece in the 1950s, when he first encountered Papandreou.

Stearns was credited as being one of the US’s most able diplomats in Greece. The current ambassador David D. Pearce, who started on the Greek desk in 1985, when Stearns was still in Athens, referred to him as a “great diplomat, great friend of Greece” on Twitter

Stearns also served in the Ivory Coast, Turkey, Zaire, the United Kingdom and Laos. In Washington, his roles included Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and as Special Assistant to W. Averell Harriman, then the State Department's Roving Ambassador.

In 1992 his book, Entangled Allies: US Policy Toward Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, was published by the Council on Foreign Relations. A Greek edition was issued the same year by Pontiki Press in Athens.

Stearns died on May 14 at the age of 91.

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