Sofia city council names street after US ambassador James Pardew

Sofia city council voted on June 9 to name a street in the Mladost residential area after US ambassador James Pardew, who was Washington’s envoy to Bulgaria from 2002 to 2005.

A committee report tabled at the council meeting listed the numerous achievements of Pardew, who died on June 2 2021 at the age of 77.

“With his outstanding career as a military man and diplomat, James Pardew established himself as a guardian of freedom and peace in the Balkans,” the committee report said.

It said that Pardew had been one of the negotiators on Richard Holbrooke’s team that led to the signing of the Dayton Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Pardew participated in the US mission to train and equip Bosnia’s defence forces.

Representing Washington, he negotiated with Slobodan Milošević and other Serbian political leaders during the Kosovo war.

Pardew was the US representative in the international mission for the settlement of ethnic conflicts in North Macedonia, which led to the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

During Pardew’s tenure as US ambassador in Sofia, Bulgaria became a member of Nato, in 2004, and by 2005 had completed negotiations for accession to the European Union.

Bulgaria also worked closely with the US to establish a joint military training centre and to destroy missiles and other military equipment left over from the Cold War.

“Pardew’s merits in the fight against organised crime and the corruption it generates in Bulgaria are indisputable,” the report said.

Pardew and his wife Kathy were supporters of many organisations and institutions in the field of culture in Sofia, including the Ballet Academy Marian, Sofia Opera and Ballet, New Symphony Orchestra and Junior Achievement Bulgaria.

In 2002, Pardew helped restore the Doctors Garden Park.

Through his philanthropic work, Pardew helped a number of orphanages and the elderly.

The proposal to name a street in Sofia “Ambassador James Pardew Street” was made to Sofia municipality by the Friends of Doctors Garden NGO, and was supported in writing by the New Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Academy Marian, current US ambassador Herro Mustafa, the America for Bulgaria Foundation and the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria.

(Photo: US State Department)

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