Taylor G. Belcher; Ex-Ambassador

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Taylor Garrison Belcher, a career Foreign Service officer who was U.S. ambassador to Cyprus and Peru in the 1960s and '70s, has died of cancer at a hospital here.

Belcher, who retired in 1974 to nearby Garrison, N.Y., was 70 when he died Monday.

Belcher was a veteran of State Department service and stationed in Cyprus when President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 appointed him envoy to that then-divided nation following the eruption of violence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Earlier, he had been consul in Nicosia in 1957 and counsel general a year later, remaining there until 1960. He had returned as an untitled Foreign Service officer until his appointment.

As ambassador, Belcher--a quiet mediator--was credited with helping break the centuries-old pattern of violence between the Greek majority and Turk minority.

In 1969 he left Cyprus for Lima, where he helped shape an agreement that resolved a lengthy dispute over compensation for expropriated American properties seized after a military coup.

After retirement, Belcher returned to Upstate New York, where his family had been members of the original settlement of Garrison-on-Hudson, operating a ferry service to West Point.

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