U.S. Official Speeches and Interviews
Remarks by U.S. Deputy Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Embassy Housing
February 14, 2011 | Kabul, Afghanistan
Thank you all for coming today in this snowy weather. I would especially like to recognize the Department of State's Overseas Building Operations Acting Director, Adam Namm, for coming to Afghanistan to participate in this ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The United States Government is committed to an enduring partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We are building, along with the Afghan people, a stronger Afghanistan. The construction of these and more buildings to come stands as a visible sign of the American people's long-term presence in Afghanistan as dedicated friends and partners.
The United States Government is currently increasing our diplomatic presence throughout Afghanistan. Over the past two years, the United States Government has committed over $700 million dollars to expand the United States Embassy in Kabul. The housing that we inaugurate today will provide safe and comfortable accommodations for 432 diplomats and staff on a temporary basis until three multi-story apartment buildings can be built. I invite you to take a look inside one - we have one open for display - and see how Americans are demonstrating the expeditionary spirit President Obama has asked us to embrace as we do our best to support our Afghan friends. Our future vision of the Embassy will include two multi-story office buildings, three apartment buildings, parking structures, other infrastructure improvements and self sufficient utility services.
This substantial investment in construction of the Embassy supplements our construction of new Consulates in Mazar el Sharif and Herat. This investment in Kabul is providing jobs for more than 300 workers every day. More Afghan employees will be needed as we begin construction of the next phase of permanent buildings, and continuing through 2014. We are also using more and more Afghan made, Afghan purchased materials in our construction, helping to strengthen the Afghan economy. As our diplomatic ties strengthen over time, I trust the Embassy and its architecture will be a source of confidence and pride for the Afghan people.
Thank you all again for coming out in the snow today. Adam, let's cut the ribbon and open these housing facilities.