Statement by U.S. Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann at Inauguration of the Shah Shahid ShrineRonald E. Neumann, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan
January 3, 2006
Remarks by U.S. Embassy Kabul
As you know, noble efforts to preserve Afghanistan’s cultural sites will require your stewardship. Today’s decisions will determine the legacy you leave to your children, your grandchildren and to subsequent generations. After more than 30 years of war there remains a critical need to reclaim and restore your country’s cultural heritage. All of Afghanistan’s people share in a proud past -- and, it is a heritage that future generations should celebrate.
Today, cultural heritage is endangered. It requires a global effort to preserve and protect what is left of past civilizations. Nations have an obligation to protect the traditions, historical sites, and traditional crafts that make each of our peoples unique.
The people of the United States of America are proud to partner with the Government and people of Afghanistan in preserving their heritage. We, along with our international partners, continue to marvel at Afghanistan’s historical achievements. Today, we are privileged to share in the restoration and revival of many Afghan heritage sites and cultural traditions.
In addition to the Shah Shahid project, the American people have contributed nearly half a million dollars to preserve the cultural heritage of Afghanistan. These efforts include:
In addition, we have provided support for the restoration of the Afghan National Gallery, the two cannon sites above Bagh-e-Babur, the Paghman Arch, the tomb of Sayed Jamaluddin Al-Afghan, and a renovation survey of the Presidential Palace. And we are committed to continuing our strong cooperation in the field of cultural preservation.
In closing, I would like to make a special note of thanks to the members of the Development and Humanitarian Services for Afghanistan organization whose contributions and efforts have made today’s dedication possible.
Thank you for inviting me here today to share in this memorable event.