Tough Diplomatic Assignment Crossword


Calls and Calling Cards
"Calling" has largely disappeared from private life, but it is a practice which is still useful in a diplomatic community where the early establishment of extensive contacts is a must. Soon after a diplomat’s arrival at a new post, therefore, he will embark on a program of call on those with whom he will be dealing – and whom he must lose no time in getting to know. In modern, less formal times, calling cards do not have nearly the same role in diplomatic life they once did. But with the traditional initials, p.p. (pour présenter); p.f. (pour féliciter); p.c. (pour condoléance); p.r. (pour remercier); or p.p.c. (pour prendre congé) inscribed at their bottom left-hand corner, they remain a still useful and accepted way to convey simple messages of presentation, congratulation, condolence, thanks, and farewell.

Casus Belli
An action by one state regarded as so contrary to the interests of another state as to be considered by that second state as a cause for war.

As in "chancelleries of Europe," i.e. foreign offices.

The office where the chief of mission and his staff work. This office is often called the embassy but this is a misnomer. Technically, the embassy is where the ambassador lives, not where he works, although in earlier times when diplomatic missions were smaller, this was usually the same building. Today, for clarity’s sake, many diplomats now distinguish between the two by using the terms "embassy residence" and "embassy office".

Chancery, Head of
An important position in British embassies not found in American diplomatic establishments. An officer, usually head of the political section, charged with coordinating the substantive and administrative performance of the embassy. In an American embassy, the ambassador looks to the deputy chief of mission to do this.

Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
Formerly, a chargé d’affaires was the title of a chief of mission, inferior in rank to an ambassador or a minister. Today with the a.i. (ad interim) added, it designates the senior officer taking charge for the interval when a chief of mission is absent from his post.

Chief of Mission
The ranking officer in an embassy, permanent mission, legation, consulate general or consulate (i.e. an ambassador always, and a minister, consul general, or consul when no more senior officer is assigned to the post). A "chief of mission" can also be the head of a special and temporary diplomatic mission, but the term is usually reserved for the earlier listed examples.

A message or other document conveying a policy or an instruction is "cleared" in a foreign office, or large embassy, when all officials who have responsibility for any of its specific aspects have signified their approval by initialing it. Some officers gain a reputation for insisting on changing, even if only in minor ways, everything that is places before them – and it is occasionally alleged they would do so even if it were in the Ten Commandments being presented to them. Conversely, others are occasionally so casual that their clearance seems to mean only that the document in question does not appear to take away any of their jurisdiction. A clearance procedure in some form is essential for adequate coordination, but when overdone (as it often is), it can be a stifling, time-consuming process, and a bane of diplomatic life.

A brief public summary statement issued following important bilateral or multilateral meetings. These tend to be bland and full of stock phrases such as "full and frank discussions", and the like. Occasionally, getting an agreement on the communiqué turns out to be the most difficult part of the meeting.

An effort to achieve agreement and, hopefully, increased goodwill between two opposed parties.

A treaty to which the Pope is a party.

Conference or Congress
International meetings. In the diplomatic sense, a congress has the same meaning as a conference.

Consular Agent
An official doing consular work for a nation in a locality where it does not maintain a regular consulate. This official is usually a national of his host state, and his work is usually part-time.

An office established by one state in an important city of another state for the purpose of supporting and protecting its citizens traveling or residing there. In addition, these offices are charges with performing other important administrative duties such as issuing visas (where this is required) to host country nationals wishing to travel to the country the consulate represents. All consulates, whether located in the capital city or in other communities, are administratively under the ambassador and the embassy. In addition to carrying out their consular duties, they often serve as branch offices for the embassy, supporting, for example, the latter’s political and economic responsibilities. Consulates are expected to play a particularly significant role in connection with the promotion of their own country’s exports and other commercial activities. Officers performing consular duties are known as consuls or, if more junior, vice consuls. The chief of the consulate is known as the consul.

Consulate General
A bigger and more important consulate, presided over by a consul-general.

Consul, Honorary
A host-country national appointed by a foreign state to perform limited consular functions in a locality here the appointing state has no other consular representation.

An agreement between two or more states, often more, concerning matters of common interest. While supposedly used for lesser matters than embraced in a treaty, it often deals with important subjects indeed – international postal and copyright laws, for example, of the law of the sea.

Counselor of Embassy
A senior diplomatic title ranking just behind an ambassador and a minister. In many embassies there is no minister, and the counselor is the number two man, i.e., the deputy chief of mission. (In a very small embassy, the second may not have this rank). In a large embassy, the second ranking officer may be a minister, or minister-counselor, in which case the heads of the more important sections have counselor rank. Thus, for example, the embassy’s political counselor, economic counselor, an administrative counselor are well-known and much-respected positions in diplomatic life.

Country Desk
State departments and foreign offices generally have an office for each country with which the have active dealings. These offices are often called country desks, and if a large country is involves and there is a large embassy to support there, the desk is likely to be staffed by a large number of officers. A smaller country may require a one-officer desk only.

Country Team
An American diplomatic term meaning the ambassador’s cabinet. It consists of his deputy chief of mission, heads of all important embassy sections, and the chiefs of all other elements (military, agricultural, aid, information, and cultural, etc.) working under him in the "embassy community".

The name for letters given to an ambassador by his chief of state, and addressed to the chief of state of his host country. They are delivered to the latter by ambassadors in a formal credentials ceremony, which generally takes place shortly after his arrival at a new post. Until this ceremony has taken place he is not formally recognized by the host country, and he cannot officially act as an ambassador. The letters are termed "letters of credence" because they request the receiving chief of state to give "full credence" to what the ambassador will say of behalf of his government.

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When he published his autobiography, “Bridges,” in 2008, Galen Stone, a former US ambassador to Cyprus and former deputy chief of mission in India, explained that the title described his life’s work literally and metaphorically.

“I have spent the better part of my life building bridges. In World War II, I built bridges across France, Belgium and Germany,” he wrote of his time with the US Army Corps of Engineers. “In the Foreign Service I built less tangible bridges between our country and other nations.

“In more recent years I have helped build and maintain bridges, bringing together people from all walks of life through volunteer organizations,” added Mr. Stone, whose diplomatic assignments from 1947 to 1981 included serving as a political counselor in Saigon, a deputy chief of mission in France, and a representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Richard Viets, a former US ambassador to Tanzania and Jordan who had worked with Mr. Stone in New Delhi, said that Mr. Stone’s “word was his bond.”

Viets added that his friend and colleague was “the single most important formulator of many of my own outlooks on life. Other diplomats sought him out in private because he was a straight shooter who would give an honest assessment.”

Mr. Stone, whose numerous educational and philanthropic endeavors included chairing the Board of Overseers at Northeastern University, died of lymphoma Jan. 23 in Norwood Hospital. He was 96 and lived in Westwood and Marion.

“He never took what he had for granted. He was idealistic and he expected the most out of himself, and out of me,” said his wife, Anne. “We worked as a team and leaned on one another.”

Mr. Stone’s grandfather, Galen L. Stone, cofounded the Boston brokerage Hayden, Stone & Co., and his father, Robert Gregg Stone, was head of North American Trust, also in Boston. Mr. Stone did not follow in their career footsteps.

While attending Milton Academy, he heard a retired ambassador speak about the US Foreign Service as a career.

“He lit a spark in me,” Mr. Stone wrote. “I decided this is what I wanted to do with my life.”

His wife said that although he never expressed it verbally, “I think he felt after his military service in Europe that maybe diplomacy would work where war had not.”

Mr. Stone began his diplomatic travels as vice consul in Munich. He served briefly in Kiel, Germany, and then for four years as deputy assistant for international affairs for the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

While in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, Mr. Stone befriended a senator in the South Vietnamese government. After the war, the senator’s son, Keson Khieu, escaped Vietnam by boat to Singapore and wrote to Mr. Stone.

“Mr. Stone was in Cyprus at the time and I was a refugee who had applied to immigrate to the United States,” Keson Khieu recalled. “He gave his personal assurance of my background and I was able to resettle in California in 1980.”

Khieu, who affectionately refers to Galen and Anne Stone as his aunt and uncle, said Mr. Stone was a compassionate and generous role model.

“Helping Keson and his family was one of Galen’s proudest achievements,” Anne said.

Mr. Stone was a diplomat in India twice, including during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971, when the policy of President Richard M. Nixon’s administration favored Pakistan.

“Galen viewed this as a short-sighted strategic blunder,” Viets recalled. “He believed in the longer term, a close relationship with India would produce a counter-balance to China vital to American interests in Asia. His forceful opposition to a flawed policy was fought at the highest levels in Washington.”

Viets added that “history has proven him right, for the India policy espoused by our government today is precisely what Galen argued for. He was a brilliant, tough, and principled diplomat.”

During the family’s diplomatic travels, Galen and Anne Stone also made sure to introduce their children to new cultures and living conditions. Their son Brewer, who lives in Mill Valley, Calif., recalled sleeping on a rope bed inside a simple cement hut at the Jim Corbett National Park in Northern India, and sitting on the backs of elephants “before heading out to the high grasses” with his family.

Born in Brookline, Galen Luther Stone II, whose mother was the former Bertha Lea Barnes, was encouraged by his parents to experience a variety of summertime jobs. He worked in a coal mine in West Virginia, in railroad construction in North Dakota, and on a fishing trawler out of Boston.

“It gave him a lifelong empathy for people from all walks of life,” his son said.

Mr. Stone landed in Normandy, France, shortly after D-Day, while battles still raged. At age 24, he was appointed a military governor in Germany, not long after German forces surrendered in 1945. Upon returning home, he re-entered Harvard College and graduated in 1946. He was an officer in the Army Reserve until 1970.

Mr. Stone proposed to Anne Brewer three weeks after they met at the 1946 Harvard-Yale football game. They married in 1947.

A recipient of the US State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award, Mr. Stone returned to the United States after his assignment in Cyprus.

Subsequently, he was the third generation of his family to serve as a United South End Settlements board member. According to former executive director Frieda Garcia, Mr. Stone was “a quiet, strong presence, engaged and active, who looked far beyond his own world.”

Dr. Ahmed Mohiuddin, a fellow board member at New England Baptist Hospital, said Mr. Stone “was young at heart with an outlook that inspired others.” And William Kirby, a professor and former director of Harvard University’s Asia Center, said Mr. Stone was a valuable resource and a gracious and welcoming individual from a family with “a broad and humane sense of public concern.”

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Stone leaves three daughters, Diana, of Asheville, N.C., Mary Smith of Plainville, and Pamela Evans of Marion; another son, Galen III of Marion; a brother, Henry, of St. Clair Shores, Mich.; 14 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Mr. Stone’s life will be held at 11 a.m. May 26 at Great Hill in Marion.

When Mr. Stone left his post at Northeastern in 1994, the university’s board praised him as “a true gentleman, wise counselor, and consummate diplomat” whose advice “has been much sought and freely given.” Northeastern awarded him an honorary doctorate in political science.

“My father had a great sense of empathy and obligation to serve,” Brewer said. “He was born into privilege and spent his life giving back.”

Marvin Pave can be reached at

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