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Talcott W. Seelye; Ambassador Developed Middle East Expertise
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Deaths -- Seelye, Talcott W
Author: Patricia Sullivan - Washington Post Staff Writer
Date: Jun 11, 2006
Start Page: C.06
Section: METRO

For the next 20 years, Mr. Seelye operated his own consultancy on matters involving the Middle East. He was director of Middle East Research Services for the Boston-based investment bank Advest, published a bimonthly newsletter for U.S. firms operating in the region and conducted orientation trips for U.S. businesspeople and oil analysts. He was a familiar face on television news programs and wrote op-ed articles for major newspapers on Middle East topics.

After college, he taught at his Massachusetts prep school for a year. He entered the Foreign Service, serving first in postwar Germany, then choosing a specialty in the Middle East. Mr. Seelye learned Arabic and worked as a political officer in Jordan, consul in Kuwait and deputy chief of mission and charge d'affaires in Saudi Arabia. He also had three assignments at the State Department as director of Arabian peninsular affairs, director of Arabian north affairs and senior deputy assistant secretary for African affairs.

Author Robert Kaplan, in a 1992 Atlantic Monthly article, said Mr. Seelye attempted in 1973 to persuade Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger not to send arms for Israel's defense after the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria. His later cables to the State Department "would cause Francis Fukuyama to scrawl in the margins, 'Talcott Seelye is the Syrian Ambassador to Washington, not the American Ambassador to Syria,' " Kaplan wrote.

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